Coming into the 2015 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers had four outfielders competing for three spots with Scott Van Slyke also knocking at the door.
Injuries have essentially eliminated the problem in the first half of the season, as Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford each missed significant time. Andre Ethier earned a spot to start while both were out, and Puig assumed his role in right after returning from injury. Crawford is now set to return without a guaranteed spot.
Because of the impending roster moves, the Dodgers had Crawford spend a longer time than usual on rehab assignment. He played eight games with the OKC Dodgers, returning after the All-Star break when many believed he was done.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Crawford admits that being down there for so long was frustrating:
It felt like forever,” he said of his lengthy rehab from a torn oblique muscle. “I’m used to going down for three days (on a rehab assignment) and coming back. … I was shocked by it. People down there were shocked by it. When I was still there after the All-Star break, there were fans yelling, ‘You’re still here?’ It was embarrassing.”
In his eight Triple A games, Crawford has slashed .367/.375/.600 with two doubles, one triple, and six RBIs. In his 30 at-bats, he struck out only three times. The 33-year-old played in just 15 games for the Dodgers before going down with an injury and recorded just 12 hits in 49 at-bats.
With the trade deadline looming and the Dodgers outfield bursting at the seams, it would not be surprising to see an outfielder moved out of Los Angeles. With three years and $62.25 million still left on Crawford’s contract, it would be unlikely to see see him leave.
Instead, Alex Guerrero, who may be willing to waive a clause in his contract involving a trade, may be the one packing his bags. Also, Ethier has played well enough that teams could inquire on him as well.
The Dodgers outfield logjam has just gotten a little bit more crowded but a trade may not be far off.