The fact we're even discussing Brandon Crawford as a viable mixed-league option, much less an attractive one, is a minor miracle after the way he began his career. He was the hole in the Giants' lineup, viable only because of his glove, so him breaking through with 21 homers -- and already well into his prime at age 28 -- was one of the bigger surprises of the 2015 season. It's strange, though: As it was happening, it didn't seem so fluky. His average fly-ball distance was the ninth-highest among all hitters, so he was consistently putting a charge in the ball, and his rate of home runs held fairly steady over the course of the season. All things considered, you can feel reasonably confident in a repeat performance for Crawford. He's a one-dimensional hitter even now, though, making him just a middle-round shortstop.
Crawford signed a six-year contract extension with the Giants on Tuesday. The Giants have rewarded Crawford following his offensive breakout in 2015, reportedly giving him $75 million and a full no-trade clause. Crawford more than doubled his previous career high in home runs from 2014 (10), smacking 21 while trimming his strikeout rate to 21.2 percent last season. While there's reason to think the power will decline in 2016 (16.2% HR/FB last season), Crawford is an excellent defender at a premium position, and even with regression built in, is an easy top-10 shortstop for 2016.
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (calf) is back in the lineup Friday against the Diamondbacks. After missing seven straight contests and having an off day Thursday, Crawford will rejoin the lineup after battling a lingering calf issue. He'll man his usual shortstop duties, while batting seventh against Rubby De La Rosa.
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (calf) remains out of the lineup Tuesday against the Reds. He will miss a sixth straight start due to a lingering calf issue, though the matchup against lefty John Lamb may have played a part in the decision to hold Crawford out yet again. Crawford hit off a tee Sunday but his status for the rest of the week is uncertain. Ehire Adrianza starts again at shortstop for San Francisco. Crawford (calf) could play Wednesday, but Friday is a more likely return date, the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea reports. It sounds like owners could get roughly two weeks from Crawford before the end of the season, although the Giants will likely be very cautious with him upon his return.
Giants infielder Brandon Crawford underwent an MRI on Wednesday to gauge the seriousness of his calf and side injuries, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Crawford suffered the injuries during Tuesday's contest and was held out Wednesday. Crawford is expected to return to the lineup in a day or two.
Tightness in his calf and left oblique caused Giants infielder Brandon Crawford to leave Tuesday's game prematurely, the team announced. Crawford recently returned from the DL after battling a calf and oblique issue, but is expected to miss the next couple of games, reports CSN Bay Area.
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