The San Francisco Giants have a little bit of a good conundrum on their hands at shortstop.
While Brandon Crawford recovered from a calf injury, Casey Schmitt made his MLB debut in barnstorming fashion. He looks like he may never be coming out of the Giants’ lineup and has owned the shortstop position defensively, too.
So what, exactly, do the Giants do with Crawford, who doesn’t look like himself on either end, and most worryingly on defense?
Susan Slusser joined Tolbert and Copes on Wednesday and offered an assessment of the situation.
She’s not sure how the Giants can, in good conscience, take Schmitt out of the lineup. He’s hitting .328 with 10 RBIs in his first 15 games, while Crawford has struggled.
“[Crawford] was just coming off a long layoff just a week or so ago, so, but he said he feels fine,” Slusser said. “He feels great. So I think those numbers will start to turn around. We obviously know he is a superb, defensive shortstop, but right now — I’m not saying overall, but I’m saying right now — the guy playing best at short is Casey Schmitt. Which makes me makes me think, hey, if you want J.D. Davis at third, which you probably do, is Casey Schmitt gonna get the bulk of time at shortstop here for a while? It wouldn’t stun me.”
Slusser believes Crawford might end up on the bench for a bit, but that doesn’t mean he’s washed up:
I mean, they’ve gotta have Schmitt in the lineup. They just do. They have to have [J.D Davis in the lineup. [Joc] Pederson is maybe not quite as much of a must. You could probably still use that DH spot to run people in and out of along with him.
Brandon Crawford, I don’t think he’s a guy who we’re seeing the tail end of his career right now or he’s somebody that’s kind of slowly being edged out. I think he is just in a little bit of a defensive funk. He is not a guy would ever say like, oh, well, let’s all give up on Brandon Crawford. Absolutely not. He’s such a talent.
He’s the one link to the dynasty. I just think he is probably going to get a little more time off, which will make him physically, probably a little stronger, have a little bit more energy. But he’s used to playing every day and maybe playing every day is what keeps him really sharp defensively. There’s always that possibility too.
Crawford is hitting just .165 this season and is 3-for-20 with 11 strikeouts in his return from injury. He made a bad error on Wednesday and has a .959 fielding percentage, the lowest mark of his career.
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