Some bad news for the Giants, who stand three games back of the Dodgers in the NL West …
Brandon Crawford is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Cubs after leaving Tuesday’s game with tightness in his left oblique.
It’s believed to be a minor tweak — not a full-blown oblique strain — and Crawford is hopeful that he’ll feel well enough to return in a couple of days.
San Francisco has not been able to capitalize on the Dodgers’ recent rut, and losing Crawford for any period of time is a tough blow. There’s no room in the Wild Card race for a team outside the NL Central.
Crawford is having a breakout season at age 28, with an .806 OPS (123 OPS+), 19 home runs, and 75 RBI in 121 games. And he has continued to play upper-tier defense at shortstop.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.