Giants to face difficult situation with looming move for Estrada originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — It was mostly a celebratory night at Oracle Park, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Giants experienced perhaps their scariest moment of the season.
Thairo Estrada went down after taking a pitch off the helmet and was removed right away by Giants trainers and manager Gabe Kapler. Estrada was still dizzy after the game and Kapler said he felt some pressure on his left side. The young infielder is likely to go on the 7-day concussion IL on Sunday, which leaves the Giants in a tough spot.
They are already without Brandon Crawford, who is on the IL with knee inflammation and still has some boxes to check in the rehab process. The only other shortstop on the 40-man roster is Donovan Walton, but he was put on Triple-A’s Injured List on Thursday.
“Pretty challenging,” Kapler said when asked about the roster situation.
The Giants played Jason Vosler at shortstop after Estrada departed, but that was his first appearance at the position since 2015 and infield defense nearly cost the Giants in the ninth inning of a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Giants plan to get a real shortstop up on Sunday and the likely choice is Isan Diaz, a former Miami Marlin who primarily has played second base but also has 11 starts at shortstop this season.
Diaz hit his 20th homer of the season on Saturday and has already been to San Francisco once as a taxi squad member. Some Giants people who have seen Diaz play recently in Sacramento say he can handle short and would bring energy to the big league roster. The only real hurdle is the fact he’s not on the 40-man roster, but that’s easily fixed.
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The Estrada injury came when Mark Leiter Jr. lost control of an 0-1 changeup and it caught Estrada flush on the left side of his helmet. He immediately fell to the dirt and grabbed the left side of his head. Estrada lay in the dirt for several minutes, a stunned look on his face, as trainers Dave Groeschner, Anthony Reyes and LJ Petra checked on his head and neck. Estrada was able to get to his feet but needed assistance walking off the field. He was taken straight to the clubhouse for tests.
“It didn’t look like he (lost consciousness) and we didn’t have any indication that he did, although his eyeballs weren’t great,” Kapler said. “He was pretty stunned.”
Estrada has done some of his best work filling in for Crawford, playing solid defense and posting an OPS over .800 in the month of July. The Giants had planned to get Crawford into a rehab game in the coming days and test his knee, although the Estrada injury could change the timeline a bit.
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