The most impressive number from Brandon Crawford’s storied career might be "one." That’s the number of times Crawford had been on the IL in 11 seasons before the Giants were forced to make a roster move Monday.
Crawford suffered a mild oblique strain during his final swing on Sunday in St. Louis and was put on the IL before the start of a crucial four-game series at Dodger Stadium. Crawford said he had hoped to come to the park and test his oblique before a decision was made, but an MRI showed the strain.
The timing of the latest injury is brutal, as the Giants face the Dodgers seven times in the next 10 games. Crawford said that certainly makes this tougher, but he’s very optimistic he won’t need more than the 10 days on the IL.
“Hopefully we can get me, Belt and Longo back kind of at the same time and be at full strength,” Crawford said. “We haven’t had that for a while.”
The Giants are down three-quarters of their opening day infield, and while they've managed to get by without Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria on the corners, replacing Crawford might be the toughest test they've faced this season. Crawford is having his best season as a professional and exited the Cardinals series with a .286 average and .909 OPS. With 18 homers, he's three away from his previous career-high.
Crawford does have one previous oblique strain, but it came during the final game of the 2013 season so he didn't miss any time. His only previous IL stint was for a strained groin in 2017 and cost him less than two weeks. Crawford said he knew something felt off after his swing Sunday.
"You don't normally notice your obliques unless something is wrong with it," he said.
The Giants recalled Jason Vosler to take Crawford's roster spot, and manager Gabe Kapler said Thairo Estrada will be the primary shortstop until Crawford returns. The Giants have Mauricio Dubon in Triple-A, but the staff wants to give Estrada a chance to play every day. He has had good at-bats since getting called up and is batting .323 with one homre.
"It's tough. It's tough," Kapler said of the injury. "I think the only thing to do when you're met with a challenge like this is to shift the focus to the run Estrada has here."