The JP Crawford era begins
May 10, 2019
Infielders Dee Gordon and Dylan Moore both had to come out of yesterday's game against the New York Yankees due to injury, leaving the under-benched Mariners in the position of having to play someone at second base who had never played the middle infield. Moore has been placed on the 10-day injured list, Gordon has not (for the moment), but the upside of this misfortune is that Seattle's shortstop of the future can now become Seattle's shortstop of the present.
Acquired from Philadelphia over the offseason as the key piece in the Jean Segura trade, 24-year-old J.P. Crawford started the season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers after spending last year at four levels of the Phillies' organization, including 49 appearances with the big-league club. He hit an impressive .319/.420/.457 with Tacoma. Defensively, he's an above-average shortstop that has shown occasional flashes of brilliance; even with some inconsistency, he will be a big upgrade over incumbent shortstop Tim Beckham. Said Tacoma manager Daren Brown, “I would say [Crawford]’s done enough to be promoted at any time, whether injury is involved or not. It’s something I feel like he’s earned.”
Crawford will be the starting shortstop immediately, with Beckham moving over to second base while Gordon recovers from the contusion suffered yesterday when he was hit on the wrist by a J.A. Happ fastball.
Also called up is top prospect Shed Long, another offseason acquisition. Long was traded from the Reds to the Yankees in January for pitcher Sonny Gray, and then the Yankees flipped him to Seattle for outfield prospect Josh Stowers. Drafted in 2013 as a catcher, the Reds shifted Long to the infield in 2015 and he played primarily second base in the Reds' lower minors. This year with Tacoma, his first time at the Triple-A level, Long played mostly third base, also seeing time at second and in left field. His line with the Rainiers was .276/.350/.504.
To make room for Long, relief pitcher Chasen Bradford was optioned down to Tacoma. Bradford was 0-0 with a 4.61 ERA over 132⁄3 innings this year with the M's.