His past gives Thairo Estrada calm as he replaces the shortstop at a key moment for the Giants


LOS ANGELES – Thairo Estrada is suddenly the Giants shortstop, right in the middle of a key streak this season, and the 25-year-old looks completely unfazed, beating a big two-point brace in the series. first team. opening on the second-place Dodgers Monday.

One of the reasons Estrada might have such a poise: The Venezuelan grew up admiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, then got to listen to the famous Hall of Famer speak when Estrada was in the Yankees minor league system. Then let’s talk about pressure, Estrada played a few shortstop games for the Yankees as a hot young prospect.

“So as not to be overwhelmed, I’ve been in this scenario before,” Estrada said of her time in New York, with Giants coach Nick Ortiz as interpreter. “With just the confidence this team gave me, I just arrived prepared.”

In addition, Estrada has processed more than the average for the big leagues. He was shot dead in an attempted robbery while he and his wife were at a cafe in his hometown of Bejuma in 2018 and played with a bullet lodged in his hip for six months.

“It was difficult in Venezuela in 2017-18,” Estrada said. “There were rarely people who had money, for security reasons everything was done by cards and cell phones. So someone came up to me and asked me for money, and I said the only things I had were my cell phone and my credit card. The guy didn’t believe me and decided to shoot at that point.

The Giants acquired Estrada from the Yankees in a cash deal in April, and he reached .385 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 37 games while playing short, second, third and left. Since arriving on June 30, he’s played all of those positions with San Francisco, but with Brandon Crawford’s oblique injury, Estrada will be short for the next nine to 13 days. He averaged .343 and a base percentage of 0.410 in Tuesday night’s game, was more than adequate defensively, and he also learned everything he could from Crawford.

“I have made it a point to observe every move he makes, whether on the pitch or in the clubhouse,” said Estrada.

Estrada’s first name, which is pronounced “Tyro”, is unusual and of family origin. His dad and uncle are called Jairo, “so they just added a ‘T’ to make it sound different, to make it sound more American. I guess my mom knew I would come to the US and it would make it easier for people. “

Susan Slusser covers the Giants for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @susanslusser

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