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Kapler confident in Crawford despite slow start

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Gabe Kapler said he is not concerned about J.P. Crawford's slow start because nine games is just nine games.

Kapler referred to it as a snapshot, and not a complete picture.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Gabe Kapler said he is not concerned about J.P. Crawford's slow start because nine games is just nine games.

Kapler referred to it as a snapshot, and not a complete picture.

View Full Game Coverage

"You ask me how we keep things even-keeled or how we keep things in perspective; we do that by showing them that a 10-game stretch is not enough to evaluate," Kapler said before Monday night's series opener against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. "It's really not enough in a 20-game stretch. So what you do is say, 'I am evaluating this 20-game stretch,' not, 'I'm evaluating how you are as an athlete, how you are as a baseball player.'"

Crawford is hitting .043 (1-for-23) with one walk and eight strikeouts to begin the season. But Kapler said he is optimistic, because Crawford is averaging 4.44 pitches per plate appearance, which ranked 15th out of 206 qualified hitters in baseball.

"What that means is eventually, those pitches that are strikes at the end of the at-bat might turn into balls," Kapler said. "And he might be walking instead of making an out. It also means that he's giving a pitcher more of a chance to make a mistake, and run into a barrel where he might drive a ball the other way or into the gap."

Crawford has not barreled many balls since he made his big league debut on Sept. 5 last season. The average exit velocity of his balls in play is 83.4 mph, according to Statcast™. It ranks 212th out of 233 hitters with 40 or more balls in play in that span.

Crawford, who did not start Monday, said he is working on shortening his swing.

Scoring change

Video: PHI@ATL: Kingery lines single for first career hit

A scoring change from a March 30 game in Atlanta has credited Scott Kingery with a stolen base against Mike Foltynewicz. Kingery, who went 2-for-4 that night, joins Jimmy Rollins as the only other member of the Phillies since 1900 with two or more hits and a stolen base in his Major League debut.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, J.P. Crawford