Giants find stability with Posey, Crawford

Giants find stability with Posey, Crawford

SAN FRANCISCO -- The injury bug has hit the Giants clubhouse. Five players -- Jeremy Affeldt, Nori Aoki, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy and Hunter Pence -- are all on the 15-day disabled list.

While Cain and Peavy are nearing returns to the rotation, likely next week, Affeldt, Aoki and Pence do not have return dates set.

Gregor Blanco and Jean Machi also spent time on the DL this season and Angel Pagan, who sat out Friday's game, is dealing with two sore knees. Pagan returned to the lineup Saturday.

"We'll keep an eye on him," manager Bruce Bochy said.

In the midst of all the team's injuries, two of the Giants' key pieces, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, have remained mainstays in a lineup in need of stability. Since Posey missed much of the 2011 season with a fractured left ankle, he has played in at least 147 games every year.

Posey's ability to stay healthy has been one of the main reasons why the Giants entered Saturday just two games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West. He can play both catcher and first base, which helps cover up the losses of Pence and Aoki, and he's hitting .286 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in June.

Posey's grand slam

Crawford, too, has proved to be incredibly valuable thanks to his durability and performance on the field. The Giants shortstop has played in 143 games or more in each of the last three seasons and is enjoying what has truly been a breakout year.

"You realize how difficult that is, to go out there every day and play because of the injury risk," Bochy said.

Crawford's 2.6 WAR leads all Major League shortstops, according to Fangraphs, and he is one home run from tying his career high, 10, which he set in 2014.

Crawford and Posey have missed just six games combined for the Giants this season.

"The fact that Crawford hasn't missed much time, and Posey, we're fortunate," Bochy said.

• Jake Peavy threw six innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night, giving up six runs on nine hits while striking out five batters. He gave up five runs in the first, but settled in for the next five innings in a game played in more than 100-degree heat.

Bochy said he was pleased with the way Peavy battled back after the five-run first inning.

"It shows how competitive he is," Bochy said. "We really needed him to get those innings under his belt."

Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.