Oblique strain shelves prospect Crawford 4-6 weeks

Oblique strain shelves prospect Crawford 4-6 weeks

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It is not a crippling blow, but top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford suffered a setback nonetheless this week.

Crawford strained his left oblique, which the Phils said could sideline him four to six weeks.

"That's the range," Phillies player development director Joe Jordan said. "We'll see in a few days how he responds to treatment. We'll have a better feel in five, six, seven days from now."

Crawford, 20, had been scheduled to open the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater or Double-A Reading.

"It's disappointing, but it shouldn't be a long-term thing," Jordan said.

The Phillies selected Crawford with the 16th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. MLBPipeline.com ranks him as the No. 22 prospect in baseball. Crawford hit a combined .285 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 48 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and a .781 OPS in 538 plate appearances last season with Class A Lakewood and Clearwater.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.