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Giants call up ex-White Sox slugger Yermín Mercedes as Brandon Crawford hits injured list

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The San Francisco Giants have placed All-Star shortstop Brandon Crawford on the 10-day injured list due to knee inflammation, the club announced Sunday. As a corresponding move, they recalled a name that should ring a bell for many fans: Yermín Mercedes. We’ll get back to him in a second. 

Crawford, 35, finished fourth in NL MVP voting last season after a career year at age 34. He earned a two-year contract extension worth $32 million for 2022-23 to stay with the Giants. This season, he’s hitting .224/.313/.350 (87 OPS+) with eight doubles, two triples, five homers, 30 RBI, 26 runs and 0.0 WAR in 63 games. He’s even lost a step on defense, per advanced metrics. 

The Giants enter Sunday’s action 39-32 on the season, which is 5 1/2 games out in the NL West and a half-game out of playoff position. 

With Crawford out, the starts at short should go to Thairo Estrada (he’s started four of the last six games there while Crawford’s been nursing the knee issue), though Donovan Walton remains an option. 

As for Mercedes, lots of baseball fans will recall the run he had with the White Sox early last season. Through the month of April, he was hitting .414 with a .659 slugging percentage. He still looked like an All-Star through the middle of May, but things fell apart for him. Through May 27, he was hitting .340/.386/.525, but after that he slashed a paltry .128/.209/.154. The White Sox demoted him to the minors in early July. The Giants claimed him off waivers June 18 of this season.

Other than how amazing his start to the 2021 season was, Mercedes is perhaps most remembered as being the White Sox rookie who hit a home run on a 3-0 count in a blowout and got in trouble with his own manager, Tony La Russa. The juxtaposition between La Russa’s handling of that and how unapologetic Giants manager Gabe Kapler is for his team continuing to play hard all the time, no matter the score, is interesting and likely something Mercedes will love. 

The Giants and La Russa’s White Sox start a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday.




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