With all that has been going wrong for the Mariners over the last 40-plus games, J.P. Crawford was something that was going very right.

The young shortstop prospect, and key piece to Seattle’s step-back plan, was starting to establish himself as the stabilizing piece to the Mariners infield and a productive hitter in the bottom part of the order while moving toward the playing potential that so many people in baseball envisioned.

But that progress was halted when he awkwardly rolled his left ankle in an eighth-inning rundown during Tuesday night’s 11-4 loss to the Rangers. It made an abysmal loss even worse.

In the search for positives, X-rays and a MRI revealed an ankle sprain for Crawford and nothing more serious. He was placed on the 10-day injured list with utility infielder Dylan Moore recalled from Class AAA Tacoma. Moore had arrived in El Paso on Tuesday evening when he found out he was coming back to Seattle. He caught an early flight Wednesday morning to make it back in time for the afternoon game.

Crawford was on crutches with his left foot in a boot Wednesday morning and looking less than pleased about his new apparatuses.

When the injury occurred, the Mariners feared it was much worse. Now the hope is he’ll be back in the lineup before the end of June.


“It’s a sprained ankle, but not a high ankle sprain,” manager Scott Servais said. “Any time you roll the ankle, you stretch the ligaments, but no (tears). Everything should be OK. We are hopeful it might be a couple weeks. When he went down and with everyone’s initial thoughts, we are lucky it’s not worse than that. It’s disappointing, because he’s been playing so well. He was just working his way into being a real contributor and feeling like he was a part of things. But he’ll be back out there soon enough.”

Crawford, 24, was batting .279 (17 for 61) with a .343 on-base percentage, a .426 slugging percentage, six doubles, a home run, five RBIs and six walks in 17 games since being recalled May 10. In those 17 games, he had hit safely in 13 and had reached base in 15. But beyond the numbers, he also was bringing some defensive consistency to the position after previous starter Tim Beckham struggled to make routine plays, committing 11 errors in 38 games.

“Really taking charge,” Servais said. “I saw him the last couple of nights moving Shed Long around. This is J.P., who is just 24. He wants to be that guy to lead. He is stabilizing things defensively for us.”

Beckham and Moore will share time at shortstop in Crawford’s absence. The hope is that the two-week time frame is based on when Crawford rejoins the starting lineup.

“We’ll have to wait and see, because you don’t know,” Servais said.

But even with the injury, the Mariners believe Crawford had made a breakthrough. Acquired in the deal that sent Jean Segura and several relievers to Philadelphia, Crawford was expected to be the Mariners’ shortstop of the future. After being a heralded prospect with the Phillies, struggling in his early call-ups and getting labeled as a bust, the Mariners felt that a new organization and a reset would help him.


After some offseason and spring-training work with infield coach Perry Hill to clean up some footwork issues and a few tweaks at the plate, he was starting to find some consistency. He was hitting  .319 (37 for 116) with seven doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI, 19 walks and three stolen bases in 31 games with the Rainiers before being called up.

What has impressed Servais most thus far?

“How he carried himself,” Servais said. “You’ve got to play well obviously. But I told him when he got here, this isn’t going to be about how many hits he gets or the great plays he makes in the field, it’s about how he carries himself. Can he be consistent every day? Those guys in the middle of the field are so important — the catcher, the shortstop, the center fielder. They are involved in so much.  You are going to make a few errors and you are going to strike out with the bases loaded. That’s part of the game, but how you carry yourself means a lot to me. I told him that the first day he got here and he nailed it.”


  • Dee Gordon (deep bone bruise on his wrist) and Ryon Healy (lower back inflammation) are supposed to resume baseball activity on Thursday.