UPDATE: Carl Crawford took batting practice prior to Monday’s game, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Carl Crawford taking early BP. pic.twitter.com/ianAPk6O3f
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) June 2, 2014
The Los Angeles Dodgers crowded outfield has been a story all season long as manager Don Mattingly has attempted to balance playing time with keeping players happy.
Mattingly proclaimed Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig every day players at their respective positions, which led to the belief Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier would continue to platoon in left field. Kemp then proceeded to struggle in center and as a result was benched.
During the stretch of absences from the lineup, Mattingly revealed a plan to move Kemp to left, which the outfielder wasn’t thrilled over. Kemp was still unable to crack the lineup until Crawford suffered a sprained ankle in the eighth inning May 27.
X-rays on Crawford’s left ankle came back negative, but both he and Mattingly expressed concern he it may be out for a lengthy period. However, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Mattingly had positive news Sunday regarding the sprained ankle:
In other news, left fielder Carl Crawford’s sprained left ankle is progressing “really well,” per Mattingly. He sounds like a candidate to be immediately activated from the disabled list when he becomes eligible June 12.
Prior to being injured, Crawford began to show some signs of life as he emerged as the regular left field starter. Crawford is hitting .267 on the season with four home runs and 18 RBIs. The Dodgers have been reluctant to part ways with any of their outfielders and the depth has turned into a necessity with the various issues they’ve faced.
While Crawford’s return will bolster the outfield depth, it may once again make the situation difficult for Mattingly should it result in Kemp spending plenty of time on the bench and becoming angered over his role.
Dodgers Update: Yasiel Puig’s Story Going To Be A Movie? Plus, Mattingly’s Trouble In The Outfield