Cue the Manny Machado rumors.
JP Crawford has a fractured left hand. He will miss 4-6 weeks.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 20, 2018
It’s been a rough start to what was expected to be Crawford’s first full season on the left side of the infield for the Phillies. He missed all of May with a right forearm strain and now looks like he will likely miss all of July.
Crawford was once seen as a top prospect in all of baseball, a consensus top 10 prospect heading into 2016. He made a name for himself by being a slick fielding, contact hitting, quick shortstop that had an advanced awareness of the strike zone.
As he climbed the ladder, the hitting seemed to level out as he became less and less reliable at the plate. Last season, he seemed to be a victim of bad luck, as his .275 BABIP did him no favors. This year at the big league level, not only did he struggle at the plate to a .194/.312/.333 slash line, his strikeout-to-walk rate was 33:12 over 112 plate appearances, highly uncharacteristic of someone who averaged 70 walks and 76 strikeouts over his last four minor league seasons.
Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery are the immediate replacements on the Phillies roster. Franco, who had temporarily lost his starting job, should jump right back in at third, while Kingery, who not so surprisingly has struggled in his big league debut, will take over at short. With those two having lackluster seasons, there is sure to be speculation of the highly-sought after Manny Machado, who can play both positions pretty well and has a big bat the Phillies lineup would benefit from. The Phillies have some nice, young pieces on the farm and have stayed in contention in the National League East, so the trade rumors should start up quickly.
Until then, the Phillies shouldn’t miss a beat as Crawford recovers.