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Crawford returns from DL; Walding sent down

Kapler on future at SS: We don't 'have the whole blueprint built yet'
Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- When Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford went on the disabled list in late April due to a right forearm strain, it helped clarify rookie Scott Kingery's role after a busy first month.

Kingery, who made his Major League debut this year, had been bouncing around the field quite a bit, playing six different positions in April. Once Crawford landed on the DL, Kingery took over at shortstop, playing all but three games at the position since April 30.

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CHICAGO -- When Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford went on the disabled list in late April due to a right forearm strain, it helped clarify rookie Scott Kingery's role after a busy first month.

Kingery, who made his Major League debut this year, had been bouncing around the field quite a bit, playing six different positions in April. Once Crawford landed on the DL, Kingery took over at shortstop, playing all but three games at the position since April 30.

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Crawford's final rehab start was a full nine-inning game with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday evening, in which he went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI. Crawford was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, and arrived in Chicago to join the Phillies in the early afternoon before their tilt against the Cubs. In a corresponding move, the team sent infielder Mitch Walding to Triple-A.

"It feels great [to be back]," Crawford said. "I've got a chance to prove what I've got and go back on the field with my boys. I'm happy to be back with everyone. I was getting better every day and trying to get back here as quickly as possible."

Video: ATL@PHI: Crawford dives to rob Freeman of a base hit

Crawford's arm injury wasn't severe enough to keep him out of the cages for long though: "My hitting really wasn't affected. I was able to start hitting, not right away, but sooner than I was throwing. Hitting feels good now."

Crawford said that making sure his arm was up to full speed was the toughest part of returning from his time on the disabled list.

"For me, it was just feeling comfortable throwing," Crawford said. "Going full speed as hard as you can. Been long tossing 150-200 feet for quite a while now and everything feels A-OK."

With left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana on the mound for the Cubs on Wednesday night, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said he felt it was best to leave the right-hander Kingery in the lineup.

Video: PHI@LAD: Kingery makes nice sliding stop, robs Turner

"We'll get some work in with him today," Kapler said of Crawford. "Obviously with Quintana on the mound, we were just going to have [Crawford] come up and be available off the bench today. … It's really nice to have him back. He had a successful rehab assignment."

Kapler believes the consistency of playing at one position has helped make Kingery more comfortable during his first run in the Majors.

"An increased comfort level for him," Kapler said of what he's seen from Kingery in the last month. "At-bats have just gotten progressively better, I would say, over the last couple of weeks. Yesterday he actually looked considerably better at the plate. His at-bats have been good, but last night was kind of a different level of good and that was really encouraging."

Crawford said he had not yet spoken with Kapler about the Phillies plans at shortstop.

Video: PHI@LAD: Kingery ranges, throws on the run for out

"We haven't really talked about that yet," Crawford said. "But we'll see what happens."

"I don't think we have the whole blueprint built yet," Kapler said. "We're going to continue to discuss options and put the best club on the field every night for the Phillies."

Kingery hit .208/.248/.271 from April 30 to June 5, while Crawford was hitting .188/.246/.328 in 71 plate appearances before he was sidelined.

Catherine Garcia is a contributor for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Philadelphia Phillies, J.P. Crawford