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Brandon Crawford back in lineup for series opener vs. Reds

© Dale Zanine | 2022 Jun 21

After missing the past two games with a left knee contusion, Brandon Crawford is returning to the Giants’ starting lineup.

Crawford left after sliding awkwardly on Tuesday in Atlanta. He avoided what could’ve been a scary injury based on the impact he made with catcher Travis d’Arnaud. After going through baseball activities on the Oracle Park field pregame on Friday, he’s primed to start back at shortstop and in the seven-hole.

The Giants initially inserted Crawford back into the lineup, but the team wanted the 35-year-old shortstop to come out of pregame warmups feeling good. Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters he felt optimistic about Crawford’s availability, but SF did have a backup plan ready for if Crawford was unable to go.

On the season, Crawford is hitting .227 with a .669 OPS. He’s committed nine fielding errors, equaling his total from 2021. The shortstop finished fourth in National League MVP voting last season.

Thairo Estrada, who leads the Giants in innings played by over 50 frames, will get a breather as Donovan Walton mans second base. Estrada also leads SF in at-bats, runs and stolen bases.

  • The Giants optioned reliever Zack Littell and recalled Yunior Marte to take his place. Littell pitched a taxing three innings in his last outing against the Braves and will likely be back in SF soon, but Marte gives the Giants a fresh arm.
  • Donovan Solano, who spent the last three seasons with the Giants, will make his return on Friday night. He’s playing third base and hitting second in only his third game of the season as a hamstring injury delayed his 2022 campaign. “Donnie Barrels” caught up with former coaches Ron Wotus, Alyssa Nakken, Nick Ortiz, Mark Hallberg and Antoan Richardson by home plate during batting practice.
  • Luis González, who is on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain, is scheduled to meet with team physician Dr. Ken Akizuki Friday night. González missed two weeks last year with a back injury, but said this particular injury feels much milder. The cross-country flight back to the Bay from Atlanta wasn’t ideal, but the outfielder said Friday he’s feeling some improvement already.
  • LaMonte Wade Jr. still hasn’t rejoined the Giants and will play seven innings in the outfield for Sacramento. He went 2-for-5 with a home run in his last rehab game. The 2021 Willie Mac Award winner hasn’t suffered any setbacks; the team just wants to be patient with him.

    “With LaMonte, we want him to feel confidence in his performance and confidence in his health,” Kapler said. “And when we bring him back to the major league level, we want him to feel like he can do everything he needs to do on the baseball field without any restrictions.”
  • Kapler reiterated Joc Pederson’s sentiment that the team has moved past Tommy Pham’s slap that captured the sports world’s attention. It’s not clear that all of the Reds have, though, as some sports cartoonized “PHAM” shirts on the field pregame.

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