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Why Joey Bart was brought to Arizona but wasn’t activated by Giants

PHOENIX — As expected, Brandon Crawford was activated by the Giants Tuesday at Chase Field. As expected, Joey Bart was in the clubhouse.

But the rest of the moves offered a few surprises, putting the Giants in a potentially precarious position.

The Giants activated Crawford and left-hander Jose Alvarez and triple-A-picked infielder Donovan Walton. An MRI revealed Curt Casali has a grade 2 oblique strain that will likely keep him out for at least a month, but Bart is in Taxi Command at the moment, inactive.

That means Tuesday’s backup catcher is Yermin Mercedes, who is not considered a big league catcher by most reviewers and also starts at DH. With Thairo Estrada still on the COVID IL, the backup shortstops are…Evan Longoria and Wilmer Flores.

Teams don’t generally go into games thinking their catcher or shortstop will get injured, but it does happen and there’s a weird imbalance in the roster right now. However, Gabe Kapler wasn’t concerned ahead of Tuesday’s game. He said Bart will be activated soon.

“There is no reason to be angry about something that happens very rarely,” said Kapler about the imbalance in the squad. “Did it happen to Curt yesterday? Secure. Could it happen today? In any case.

Crawford is one of the iron men of the game and said he feels physically good after 10 days on the IL to allow his knee and other ailments to heal. Bart was absent from the roster for other reasons and spent several days working on swing adjustments before completing seven games in Triple-A.

Kapler said there are some slight signs of progress at Triple-A, but he admitted that in a perfect world, the Giants would have given him more time there.

That’s not possible after Casali strained his weird Monday. He said it was his first oblique effort and called it a “good tear”. Casali will fly back to San Francisco to begin rehab for an injury that will likely keep him out until August.

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At some point along this journey, the Giants hope to return to a more normal alignment. Estrada still has a sore throat but will return to the infield when those go away. Bart will be optioning to join Wynns at Catcher soon, possibly on Wednesday.

“There is a good chance that it will be activated for us in the next few days,” said Kapler. “(That) was just a good opportunity as Austin wanted to see tonight’s game anyway to have Yermin in the line-up again at DH and see where we are after the game.”

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