PHOENIX -- The sight of Brandon Crawford hitting his first home run of the season Tuesday night suggested to Giants manager Bruce Bochy that many more can be on the way.Declaring "I don't want him trying to do it," Bochy said in the next breath Wednesday that he considers the
PHOENIX -- The sight of Brandon Crawford hitting his first home run of the season Tuesday night suggested to Giants manager Bruce Bochy that many more can be on the way.
Declaring "I don't want him trying to do it," Bochy said in the next breath Wednesday that he considers the shortstop capable of amassing 25 home runs this year.
"If not more," Bochy added.
Crawford displayed power potential in 2015, when he hit a career-high 21 homers. The left-handed batter's home run total dipped to 12 a year ago, but that went relatively unnoticed due to the career highs he reached in batting average (.275), triples (11) and RBIs (84, which matched 2015).
"It's been really a fun thing to watch, how much smarter he's gotten," Bochy said. "Mechanically, he fixed some things early in his career and now he's covering all four quadrants of the plate, hitting left-handers, and that's why he's [batting fifth]."
In fact, Bochy said Crawford likely will bat fourth when Buster Posey rests.
"He's got a great knack for anticipating the right pitch and what [pitchers] are trying to do," Bochy said of Crawford. "In fact, he probably went for power a little too much early in his career."
Bochy said Crawford improved noticeably while batting eighth, the spot he occupied most frequently in the order during his first two full seasons (2012-13). Crawford hit seventh 65 times and batted eighth in 55 games during 2014, the first year he hit as many as 10 regular-season home runs.
"I think hitting in that eighth hole for quite a while made him a smarter hitter," Bochy said.
Span update: Center fielder Denard Span missed his second game in a row with tightness in his left hip, though he said he felt better.
This year's advent of the 10-day disabled list increases the possibility the Giants could shelve Span if his condition doesn't improve enough to allow him to play.
"As you get into the third and fourth day, it's a lot easier to make a call," Bochy said. "Obviously [Thursday] will be an important day to kind of let us know where he's at."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.