The San Francisco Giants patchwork infield situation continues. Prior to Wednesday’s game agains the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants placed shortstop Brandon Crawford on the 10-day Injured List, retroactive to July 17. Taking his place is infielder David Villar, who has been recalled from AAA Sacramento.
Rounding out the moves is center fielder Bryce Johnson, who was returned to Sacramento after spending a day as the team’s 27th player in yesterday’s doubleheader win over the Reds.
It’s a hit to the infield, as Crawford had been playing steadily, if not particularly well, while the backup shortstops — Casey Schmitt and Brett Wisely — have been scuffling. With second baseman Thairo Estrada also on the IL, things aren’t looking ideal up the middle.
Hopefully Villar can help that. He can’t play shortstop, but he can play third and second, to help take the pressure off of Schmitt and Wisely, and to give off days to J.D. Davis (such as today, where Davis will rest while Villar starts at the hot corner).
The Giants were hoping Villar would prove capable of being an everyday player this year, but it hasn’t been the season he hoped for ... he’s hitting just .159/.244/.345 in 127 plate appearances with San Francisco, and has been slightly below-average in AAA.
The bright side is that the Giants have found a way to succeed through injuries all year (minus the first three weeks). They’ve got 8-3, for instance, since Estrada was injured, and he’s been their most valuable position player this year.
But they’ll need Villar, Schmitt, or Wisely to step up, and preferably two of the three (and ideally all three). If not, we might see the trigger pulled on a trade, or maybe even an emergency Marco Luciano debut.