Losing players to the disabled list has been a common theme for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, with Erisbel Arruebarrena and Josh Beckett serving as the most recent examples.
However on Thursday, the Dodgers added a player to their roster rather than losing one, as Carl Crawford was reinstated from the DL and Clint Robinson was designated for assignment, the team announced.
Robinson spent nine games with the Dodgers and had limited opportunities. One of Robinson’s three hits in 10 plate appearances was a key pinch-hit RBI single against the Cleveland Indians.
Crawford was sidelined roughly six weeks with a sprained ankle. At one point, it was believed Crawford would return while the team was in Cincinnati however it didn’t manifest and he was sent to the team’s Spring Training facility to continue with his rehab.
After recovering from a setback, Crawford was then sent to Albuquerque where he played four games with the Isotopes. By all accounts it was a successful rehab assignment that included Crawford showing no lingering ankle issues as he raced around the bases for a triple.
While adding a healthy player to the roster is a positive, Crawford’s addition may upset what’s been a working arrangement. Matt Kemp has taken over in left field with Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke platooning in center.
On multiple occasions, manager Don Mattingly has stated his intention to not alter what’s worked, which may sit well with the Kemp and Ethier, but could prove frustrating for Crawford.
During his recovery, Crawford expressed his frustration with crowded outfield and questioned where he would now fit in. With a healthy Crawford, it does give Mattingly the opportunity to grant Kemp with more rest, though he’s performed better when receiving consistent playing time.
A clearer picture of how the outfield situation will unfold may come at the end of the month with the trade deadline. The surplus of outfielders coupled with Joc Pederson’s presence in Triple-A, may make an outfielder expendable if it means acquiring pitching help.
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