Crawford should start from here on out

September 22, 2011, 11:43 pm
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Nobody knows for sure if Brandon Crawford is the long-term answer for the Giants at shortstop.What they should know -- and see -- is that he's the starting shortstop of the present.Not a soul disputes the notion that Crawford is the best defensive player at the position in the entire organization. Special instructor Shawon Dunston, a former star shortstop himself, says Crawford is a Gold Glove waiting to happen. The question about Crawford is whether he'll ever hit enough to stick in the bigs.

Well, isnt the only way the club is going to find out if he can hit big-league pitching is for them to see him against big-league pitching? Of course it is. No less an authority than CSN Giants analyst Bip Roberts, who hit over .300 in The Show six times during a 12-year career that ended with a .294 lifetime average, thinks Crawford has a better than decent shot at being a better than decent hitter. Yet that's not why Crawford should be in the lineup every day for the rest of the year. The extra at-bats are a bonus.Crawford needs to play every day because he gives the Giants the best chance to win, and with a playoff spot still a remote possibility, winning is all that matters right now. Orlando Cabrera? Stop. He's not much more of a hitter than Crawford, and Crawford's defense dwarfs that of the salty vet.And yes, we know how much Giants skipper Bruce Bochy loves his veterans, but enough is enough. The starting pitchers have seen too many gems wasted as it is. The best defense has to be on the field.Mike Fontenot? He's probably the best of the lot offensively, no matter what the numbers say, but again, his defense is lacking.And with the Giants finally swinging the bat with some authority (unless that Clayton Kershaw devil is on the mound), they can afford to prioritize defense at shortstop.Isn't that case enough in favor of Crawford?