Alright, go ahead. Make the obligatory Carl Crawford-hurt joke. The fact of the matter is: You probably won’t be entirely wrong in doing so.
Crawford’s time really since leaving Tampa Bay has been excruciatingly frustrating, as any kind of success is often followed shortly thereafter by injury. Now, at this point in his time as a Dodger, the injuries are rarely preceded by the aforementioned success.
Here’s the latest in the string of soreness, tightness, pulls or tweaks, via J.P. Hoornstra:
Carl Crawford has been dealing with lower back tightness all spring training. He decided to speak up now and hopes he’ll only need a day off
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) April 8, 2016
Here’s where Andre Ethier’s injury rears it’s ugly face. The Dodgers could very easily handle Crawford missing time and, in all likelihood, have probably planned accordingly. But, without Ethier there, the depth that would make up for this loss — regardless of its length — is no longer there.
Furthermore, the Dodgers’ replacements while Crawford are gone are all right-handed hitters who struggle historically against right-handed pitching. The flexibility Dave Roberts and the rest of the coaching staff looked forward to using based on matchup information is severely limited when all the left fielders (Scott Van Slyke, Kiké Hernandez and Trayce Thompson) bat from the same side of the plate.
Now, this obviously isn’t grounds to freak out, as we don’t know how long Crawford might be out, but in terms of roster construction given these injury concerns, a fairly obvious hole has become all the more obvious.
I don’t think there’s any way the front office makes a move to make up for this, especially considering we really don’t know anything about the injury beyond Crawford saying his back hurts, but if it does hold him out for longer than anticipated (always a possibility, if not likelihood with Crawford), it might be smart to consider options either in the farm system or available on the market.