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J.P. Crawford Hits the DL; Jesmuel Valentin Recalled

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Detroit Tigers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In a move feared but not necessarily unanticipated, rookie shortstop J.P. Crawford has landed on the 10-day disabled list with a right forearm strain. To take his place, Jesmuel Valentin has been recalled from Lehigh Valley and will look to make his Major League debut Sunday.

Crawford, 23, got off to an abysmally slow start offensively but had turned things around in recent weeks, hitting .268/.333/.488 with two home runs over his last 13 games. His fielding, however - particularly his throwing - had looked curiously yippish recently, which clashed with a stronger defensive reputation that arrived with him from the minors. Turns out, his arm has been bothering him for a little bit now.

As of this writing, we don’t yet know the results of the MRI mentioned above, but clearly the discomfort is enough to shelve JPC out of caution. He’ll be eligible to return May 9 against the Giants.

Valentin, who turns 24 on May 12, was acquired from the Dodgers in 2014 as half of the return for Roberto Hernandez. The other half, of course, was current Phils reliever Victor Arano. A switch-hitter, Valentin was off to a .242/.373/.371 start with 1 home run for Lehigh Valley, with as many walks as strikeouts (11) in 75 PA.

Expect a combination of Pedro Florimon and Scott Kingery to absorb the bulk of the starts at short in Crawford’s absence, with Valentin, himself also capable of filling a utility role, possibly sneaking one in somewhere on the diamond, too.