Oblique strain sends Crawford to IL

July 20th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants got a pair of All-Stars back before kicking off a pivotal four-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday, but they also lost a third.

Catcher was activated off the 10-day injured list, and right-hander was reinstated from the family medical emergency list, but the Giants were dealt another blow after shortstop hit the shelf with a left oblique strain.

The Giants optioned catcher Chadwick Tromp and left-hander Caleb Baragar and recalled infielder Jason Vosler from Triple-A Sacramento as the corresponding moves.

With Crawford out, the Giants now have their entire starting infield on the IL, as first baseman Brandon Belt (right knee inflammation), second baseman Tommy La Stella (right thumb fracture) and third baseman Evan Longoria (left shoulder sprain) are also sidelined.

Thairo Estrada, who entered Monday batting .323 with an .852 OPS over 15 games this year, is expected to draw the majority of starts at shortstop in the interim, though Donovan Solano could see time there as well. Still, it will be tough to replace Crawford, who emerged as the Giants’ first-half MVP after batting .286 with a .909 OPS, 18 home runs and 58 RBIs across 82 games this year.

Crawford exited Friday’s 7-2 win over the Cardinals with a left hamstring injury, but he said that issue was unrelated to the oblique strain, which he suffered on a swing in his final at-bat of the St. Louis series on Sunday. It’s only the second IL stint of Crawford’s 11-year career and his first since 2017, when he missed time with a strained right groin.

In better news, Posey showed enough improvement with his left thumb contusion to come off the IL and make his first start in two weeks on Monday. Posey said he plans to wear a thumb guard when he catches to provide more support for the bruised joint, which he hurt after taking a foul tip off his glove hand at Chase Field on July 4.

“I was really hoping to play in the Cardinals series, so I’m happy that it was well enough to play in this one,” Posey said.

Posey batted third against right-hander Tony Gonsolin and caught Gausman, who returned from a brief leave of absence to face the Dodgers on Monday. Gausman was initially scheduled to make his first start after the All-Star break on Friday, but the Giants pushed back his outing after his wife, Taylor, was hospitalized due to complications with her pregnancy over the weekend.