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SF Giants Triple-A club places hard-throwing pitcher on injured list

The Sacramento River Cats brought in some new faces earlier this week. However, the SF Giants Triple-A club made another roster move, landing the prospect of a hard-throwing pitcher Reggie Crawford on the injured list per the team’s transaction log.

The nature of the injury has not been disclosed, but it is not unusual for minor leaguers. Crawford had not appeared in a game against the Albuquerque Isotopes since June 5. During that outing, there was a sharp drop in his fastball velocity. For that year, his sinker speed averaged 97.2 MPH, but he was at 93.3 MPH while watching the isotopes.

The Giants have been aggressive about Crawford’s development since taking him in the first round of the 2022 draft out of the University of Connecticut. At the time he was considered a two-player, but since then he has focused exclusively on pitching.

Crawford missed the entire 2022 collegiate season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He could return to the mound in 2023. That said, the Giants were understandably cautious about his workload. He posted a 2.84 ERA with 32 strikeouts against 10 walks in 19.0 innings across two levels in the lower minors. Although he never got past two innings in any outing.

The Giants rewarded the left-handed prospect with an invitation to spring training this season. He didn’t make an appearance in the Cactus League, but he was able to pitch for the Major League coaching staff, which can be valuable experience.

Despite the limited track record, the Giants gave him a relatively aggressive assignment to Double-A to start the year. He impressed with 19 strikeouts in 9.2 at Richmond before being promoted to Sacramento. With the River Cats, he has a 1.04 ERA with 11 strikeouts and seven walks in 8.2 frames.

The Giants still haven’t had him throw more than two innings in any pro appearance. Considering he was pitching in Sacramento and working out of the bullpen, Crawford was a logical candidate to join the Giants at some point this season to close. That may still be the case if the injury is not serious. However, the plan is still to extend him as a starter down the road.