Top prospect Crawford eyes return to action this week

Shortstop, out with strained oblique, to play two extended spring games

Top prospect Crawford eyes return to action this week

ATLANTA -- The Phillies are expected to get their top prospect back on the field Wednesday with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers.

Shortstop J.P. Crawford is ranked the No. 22 prospect in Major League Baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. But he has not played this season because of a strained oblique. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Crawford is scheduled to play nine innings Monday and Tuesday in extended spring training games.

If that goes well, Crawford will return to action with the Threshers.

In other Minor League news, the Double-A Eastern League named Reading right-hander Ben Lively its Pitcher of the Week. Reading righty Zach Eflin got the nod earlier this season.

Lively went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 16 strikeouts in two starts last week.

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.