While the losses of Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are significant, the Los Angeles Dodgers have also been without two starting outfielders for nearly the last month. Yasiel Puig was first to go down as he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring April 26. Two days later Carl Crawford landed on the DL with a torn oblique.
It was reported Friday Puig’s hamstring was improving and a return in the not-too-distant future was within the realm of possibility. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s pregame comments negated that notion.
“Yasiel swung the bat a little bit the other day, but has had trouble when he tried to run,” Mattingly said. “He was still feeling tightness when he was jogging, so we still haven’t gotten past that.”
As for Crawford, who is rehabbing at the club’s Spring Training facility in Arizona, he’s been slowed in his recovery. “Carl, the last I’ve seen is he’s doing more activity,” Mattingly said.
“But he’s still feeling it [oblique injury] at different times during certain exercises. So, they’ve had to back off of certain things. But he’s improving.” As both players attempt to work their way back to the National League West-leading Dodgers, an expected return date for either hasn’t been set.
“Not at this point,” Mattingly said when asked if there was a timetable on Crawford or Puig. “I’m sure there’s some type of timetable Stan [Conte] has of what an injury like this should take in general or average-wise. Until they start moving around doing baseball activities, they’re kind of off the radar.”
Mattingly added he isn’t concerned by Puig still feeling tightness and said he doesn’t view it as any setback. He expected Puig would be sidelined “four to six weeks” given that’s the general timeline on a hamstring injury.
Puig managed to get through one rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga as the designated hitter, but aggravated the balky hamstring the following night when he attempted to beat out a chopper in his third at-bat of the game.
It was also Puig’s first time playing right field since the injury. Puig is batting .279/.380/.465 with two home runs and four RBIs over 11 games. Prior to being placed on the disabled list, he missed three consecutive games and four-of-five.
Meanwhile Crawford has played in 15 games (13 starts) and is hitting .245/.260/.408 with one home run and three RBIs. In Crawford’s and Puig’s absence, the Dodgers have received significant contributions from Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero and Scott Van Slyke.
The trio is batting a combined .300/.360/.534 with 13 home runs and 45 RBIs. Included in that are several key hits from Ethier, a Guerrero walk-off RBI single and Van Slyke walk-off home run. Guerrero was also named National League Rookie of the Month for his play in April.
Mattingly discusses Crawford and Puig in the video above, as well as losing Ryu for the remainder of the season.
Kenley Jansen Not Worried About Re-Injuring Foot