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SF Giants pitching staff dealt a blow; Crawford to start at shortstop

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants pitching staff was dealt a blow Sunday prior to their series finale against the Boston Red Sox as right-handed starter Anthony DeSclafani was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow flexor strain.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said DeSclafani, who is 4-8 this season with a 4.88 ERA, will rest for several weeks before he is reevaluated. 

“Anthony was feeling some fullness in his forearm, and that was the last (bullpen) he threw,” Kapler said. “That was enough for our medical staff to check him out, and we got an MRI scan done and found the grade one strain.”

With DeSclafani out, the Giants recalled rookie righty Tristan Beck, who appeared in 50 innings over 20 games with the team earlier this season, with a 1.12 WHIP and a 3.06 ERA.  Beck, a Stanford alum, went sent to Triple-A Sacramento after July 16. 

“We’ll look to keep him in that very flexible (role),” Kapler said. “(He) could come in after an opener, could start a game, could pitch out of the pen in a short role or be a feature guy for us.”

San Francisco Giants' Tristan Beck during a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in San Francisco, Friday, June 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Francisco Giants’ Tristan Beck during a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in San Francisco, Friday, June 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) 

Kapler noted that he prefers the term “feature guy” rather than saying a pitcher will receive “bulk” work when throwing out of the bullpen for an extended period of time. 

“I just prefer to use that terminology, because bulk doesn’t have the same ring,” Kapler said. “These guys work really hard to put themselves in a position to help us win baseball games. It just feels right.”

For the second straight game, the Giants will go with an opener strategy, where left hander Scott Alexander will start the game, but is not expected to go deep into the game.  The Giants are 13-4 when using openers.

“Is Sandy Koufax an option to start the game,” Kapler asked when questioned on if he’d rather have a starter go long or have an opener. “I like both. I enjoy game strategy and I think there’s more strategy involved in a game like yesterday. But I also love having a starting pitcher go out there and take down seven or eight innings.”

San Francisco Giants' Marco Luciano (37) takes a practice swing while in the on deck circle in the fourth inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, July 29, 2023. San Francisco Giants defeats the Boston Red Sox 3-2. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
San Francisco Giants’ Marco Luciano (37) takes a practice swing while in the on deck circle in the fourth inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, July 29, 2023. San Francisco Giants defeats the Boston Red Sox 3-2. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

More on Marco Luciano

Brandon Crawford, activated on Saturday, will start at shortstop today. 

Rather than take star rookie Marco Luciano out of the lineup, Kapler elected to have the 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic DH, with Michael Conforto moving into right field and Mike Yastrzemski getting the day off. 

Luciano, who will bat third in the order, has three hits and has scored two runs in his first three games with the Giants. Kapler said he spoke to the rookie about the move. 

“Marco is ready for anything, and he’s ready to come off the bench when he’s not starting a game,” Kapler said. “He’s not going to be surprised when we take the liberty to have a really good hitter come in and hit for him.”

Reiterating what he said Saturday, Kapler mentioned Luciano’s versatility in the field as a positive and stressed the need for patience.  

“He can be out there at shortstop, and in the biggest spots, we may shift things around and have him play second base,” Kapler said. “We’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul. There’s lots of time for Marco to get these reps and learn and have all the opportunities.”

San Francisco Giants catcher Patrick Bailey (14) and San Francisco Giants pitcher Camilo Doval (75) celebrate their 2-1 win against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
San Francisco Giants catcher Patrick Bailey (14) and San Francisco Giants pitcher Camilo Doval (75) celebrate their 2-1 win against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

Day off for Patrick Bailey

Rookie catcher Patrick Bailey will get the day off after starting the previous six games at catcher. He will be spelled by Blake Sabol. Bailey made one of the biggest plays of the Giants’ 3-2 victory over the Red Sox when he cut down potential base-stealer Rob Refsnyder in the top of the ninth inning, helping preserve a 2-2 tie. 

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