Wednesday was a very bad day for the San Francisco Giants. A very, very bad day. A lopsided loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks gave them five losses in their last six games, pushed them into “almost need to win out” territory, and saw them squander their tiebreaker with the Diamondbacks.
To add insult to injury, shortstop Brandon Crawford left the game early, citing hamstring soreness — which has landed him on the Injured List earlier this year.
It seems likely that it will land him there again. Hamstrings don’t usually heal super quickly, especially when they’ve been re-aggravated. And between the team and Crawford’s performance, it’s not exactly prime “push through an injury” time.
The Giants didn’t commit to Crawford landing on the IL after the game ended, but it’s fairly easy to surmise what the likely outcome is.
Kapler says Crawford is an IL possibility.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 20, 2023
B-Craw details the hamstring tightness that forced him to exit today's game early pic.twitter.com/sGu9bdwVTZ— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 20, 2023
With the franchise legend injured, I started monitoring AAA Sacramento’s Twitter account, waiting to see a lineup. I assumed it would be devoid of either Marco Luciano or Casey Schmitt. Shortly after the game, the River Cats posted their lineup and it had both players, though it didn’t have Brett Wisely. But then an hour later came a revised lineup. Apparently the call had finally been made to Salt Lake City, where Sacramento was playing, and Luciano was no longer in the lineup.
It’s pretty easy to read between the lines here. Luciano will almost surely be in Los Angeles tomorrow when the Giants begin a series with the Dodgers and, barring some impressive overnight healing, Crawford will be placed on the IL and Luciano will be activated.
I think I speak for all of us when I say it will be pretty sad if that was the end of Crawford’s Giants tenure or career: quietly leaving a road game between innings in a disappointing game. That said, if Crawford is placed on the IL, he’ll be eligible to return for the final two games of the season, which are at Oracle Park. He could get his possible farewell.
In the meantime, Luciano will likely get a chance to state his case for the everyday shortstop role in 2024, something I think should be given to him (personally I’d be happy with Crawford as his backup/mentor).
Speaking of top prospects, the Giants confirmed after the game that left-handed pitcher Kyle Harrison will start Thursday’s series opener in LA. Harrison was called up earlier in the day, after Alex Cobb and Keaton Winn were placed on the IL. And now he’ll get to dip his toes in one of the best rivalries in sports.
Giants at LA:— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 20, 2023
9/21: Kyle Harrison
9/22: Sean Manaea
There’s a chance that on Thursday we see Harrison and Luciano — the consensus top two prospects in the system for some time now — take an MLB field together for the very first time. There aren’t all that many reasons to watch the Giants right now, but that is certainly a damn good one.