Phillies Use Crawford at Third Base at Triple-A
The Phillies have been playing a lot of players out of position lately. First baseman Rhys Hoskins came up to the Phillies as their left fielder. Catcher Jorge Alfaro manned first base for the Phillies on Saturday, despite playing the position for just one game after the Phillies acquired him. Pedro Florimon has over 1,100 games at shortstop in his professional career, but he played the less familiar left field on Sunday. So what's one more?
While the Phillies were busy closing out their four-game series against the Giants in San Francisco, the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs were closing out their series in Charlotte against the Knights. They too had a position switch of their own. After 503 professional games in the Phillies system in which he played exclusively shortstop, J.P. Crawford found himself starting somewhere else: third base.
Such a move affects are most notably incumbent shortstop Freddy Galvis. Galvis has been playing stellar defense at the shortstop position for the Phillies, while having his best offensive season to date. Galvis has one more year remaining of Phillies control before becoming a free agent.
Additionally, third baseman Maikel Franco, once thought to be the third baseman of the future, has never really lived up to the expectations of the Phillies organization. Crawford's move could mean that Franco could lose playing time, or perhaps lose his spot with the Phillies altogether, perhaps in an offseason trade.
Though once dominating the International League, several key IronPigs are now members of the Philadelphia Phillies, leaving the club a shell of itself. That could mean that the IronPigs will not appear in the playoffs, making the end of the Triple-A season Monday, September 4th. With solid offensive play, Crawford may have earned himself a call-up after the season ends.
Additionally, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Crawford could see some time at second base, too. The Phillies are not drawing any conclusions at the moment, but it appears that they really want to use the remainder of the season to see what they have. The offseason will be key for the Phillies, who could make some major roster decisions and make some major trades.
The more information they have now, the better.