As expected, the Phillies placed J.P. Crawford on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right forearm (see story).
Crawford had been feeling some tenderness in the forearm for a few days. He aggravated it making a throw in Saturday night's 4-1 loss to Atlanta.
An MRI Sunday morning revealed a Grade 1 pronator strain for Crawford. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said the shortstop would likely be out two weeks, but the Phillies are typically conservative with injuries so it wouldn't be surprising if it's longer.
Crawford's trip to the DL becomes an opportunity for another rookie. Scott Kingery, who turned 24 Sunday, will get significant playing time at shortstop while Crawford mends. He started at the position in Sunday's series finale against the Braves.
"I anticipate Kingery getting a lot of reps there," Kapler said Sunday morning. "It's a good opportunity to see him get a little comfortable for a little while. It doesn't mean he's not going to move around, play the outfield and continue to get reps at second and third. But I anticipate that he's going to get some significant time at shortstop."
Kingery was a shortstop in high school, an outfielder and second baseman at the University of Arizona and a second baseman on his way through the Phillies' minor-league system. He played two games at shortstop at Triple A last season and has played in seven games (starting four) at the position in the majors this season.
Kingery, who has played six different positions this season, is looking forward to the challenge of playing shortstop, though he said, "I'll still look at the lineup card every day to see if I'm playing left field or wherever." Kingery then went on to speak about what he sees as the biggest challenge of playing shortstop over his regular second base.
"You have to be more aggressive at shortstop," he said. "You have to attack the ball where at second base you can sit back and wait for the ball to come to you."
After a hot start, Kingery has tapered off recently and has just four hits in his last 23 at-bats. Overall, he is hitting .222 with two homers, 13 RBIs and a .664 OPS. He has struck out 27 times with six walks in 89 plate appearances.
Crawford has struggled at the plate and in the field early in the season. He goes to the DL hitting .188 (12 for 64) with just a .246 on-base percentage. He has made five throwing errors.
Kapler has encouraged Crawford to play with more aggressiveness. The trip to the DL could act as a reset for his season.
Jesmuel Valentin, called up Sunday from Triple A, comes to the majors for the first time after good showings in spring training the last two years. He can play infield and outfield. His ability to play shortstop earned him the call over Roman Quinn. Valentin hit .242 with a .373 on-base percentage in 18 games with Lehigh Valley this season.
The Phillies acquired Valentin from the Dodgers for pitcher Roberto Hernandez in August 2014. The Phillies also picked up reliever Victor Arano in the deal. He has been a find and had given up just one run in 12 innings this season, entering Sunday.