NEW YORK — The long-awaited arrival of J.P. Crawford to the major leagues is upon us.
The Phillies on Monday promoted the 22-year-old shortstop to the majors. The move came moments after Crawford helped the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs win their regular season finale to earn a berth in the International League playoffs.
Playing in the postseason, at any level, can be beneficial to a player's development, but Phillies officials have decided they'd rather have Crawford in the majors for the final 25 games of this season so they can gauge his readiness for the possibility of a spot on next year's 25-man roster, either on opening day or shortly thereafter.
Crawford will join the club in New York in time for Tuesday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field. He will get some time at shortstop, his natural position. He is also expected to get some time at third base, a position at which he recently started to get reps.
Whatever time that Crawford gets at shortstop will come at the expense of Freddy Galvis, the team's regular at the position since the start of the 2015 season. Galvis has played Gold Glove caliber defense this season and is on record as saying he would like to play in all 162 games. He played center field in a game last week and could play some there as manager Pete Mackanin tries to help Galvis reach his goal.
Galvis last week said he understood that the team wanted to take a look at Crawford in September (see story). Galvis will be eligible for salary arbitration for the final time this winter and is slated to become a free agent after the 2018 season. He could be the Phillies' regular shortstop next season. Or he could be shopped for a trade over the winter.
Crawford was the Phillies' top pick (No. 16 overall) in 2013. He survived a brutal first half of this season and finished with a .243 batting average and a .756 OPS at Lehigh Valley. From June 20 through Monday's regular-season finale, he hit .280 with a .381 on-base percentage, 13 homers, 42 RBIs and a .904 OPS.
When Crawford plays, he will become the 14th Phillie to make his major-league debut this season.