The Matt Kemp experiment in left field quickly turned into an expedited process when Carl Crawford sprained his left ankle in the eighth inning on May 27 in the second of a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.
After the game, indications were Crawford would likely miss a lengthy period of time as the sprain was considered to be severe. The following day, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed Crawford on the 15-day disabled list and called up Jamie Romak. A mere five days after being placed on the DL, manager Don Mattingly said Crawford’s ankle was doing “really well” and the left fielder participated in batting practice.
Crawford was again working out on the field before Wednesday’s series finale against the Chicago White Sox and said his recovery is a day-to-day process, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
We were testing it out pretty good,” Crawford said. “Right now, it’s just a daily thing, trying to get to the next day. We got to the next day today.”
Though Crawford indicated there’s still soreness in the ankle, he believes he’ll be able to continue increasing the level of activity in his workouts:
If I was a guessing man, I expect I’ll keep ramping up,” Crawford said. “That’s what I’ve been doing so far. Each day adding a little more intensity.”
Receiving more consistent playing time, Crawford had begun to swing the bat better than he had at the end of April and into early May. Kemp has handled the left field responsibilities in Crawford’s absence and has largely struggled at the plate while still appearing to lack the burst of speed that contributed to him being removed from center.
Through his first three starts in left, Kemp was mired in an 0-for-12 slump and has since only marginally improved to go 4-for-20 over the last five games.
Crawford can come off the disabled list June 12, which is the final day of the Dodgers’ seven-game road trip that begins Friday and will take them to Colorado for three games before moving on to Cincinnati for a four-game set.
With the Dodgers continuing to struggle, getting all hands on deck will be of importance as Mattingly searches for the right buttons to push to get the team back on track.
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