LOS ANGELES -- During the final game of his second full MLB season, Brandon Crawford strained his oblique, an injury that likely would have cost him weeks had it not happened as the season was winding down. Crawford mostly has managed to avoid the Injured List during his 13-year Giants career, especially for lengthy stays, but his right hamstring flared up this week at the worst possible time.
A day after Crawford got hurt during a game at Chase Field, the Giants put their longest-tenured and most popular player on the IL. Crawford won't be eligible to return until the final game of the regular season, but he intends to, knowing it might be his final chance to wear orange and black. He hopes to rehab enough over the next 10 days that he can start at shortstop on Oct. 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Assuming he reaches the goal, Crawford will make his 1,528th start at shortstop for the Giants, the team he grew up rooting for. He is a free agent at the end of the year and acknowledged Thursday that this has been a disappointing year on a personal level, but he's not ready to make a decision about his future.
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"I've had a lot of thoughts about it," Crawford said. "I don't have an answer, but there's been plenty of thoughts."
The Giants will have a say, too, and there might have been an element of passing the torch Thursday. To take Crawford's roster spot, the Giants called up top position player prospect Marco Luciano, and the plan is for the 21-year-old to be the primary shortstop over the next 10 games during his second MLB stint.
It's possible the Giants go into the offseason with a plan to turn short over to Luciano and Casey Schmitt after 13 years of stability thanks to Crawford, but it's too early for those decisions. Right now, all sides are focused on getting Crawford healthy and ensuring that he can appear in the final home game. Asked what he expects next Sunday, Crawford said "it's going to be emotional."
"And you guys know how emotional I typically get," Crawford deadpanned.