The Los Angeles Dodgers farm teams have been filled with Major League players recently, as the organization has dealt with a flurry of injuries that have required rehab assignments.
That will continue, as outfielder Carl Crawford has been cleared to begin his rehab assignment. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that the 33-year-old Crawford will head out to Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday:
Mattingly said outfielder Carl Crawford has been cleared to start a minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday. The tentative plan is for Crawford to DH for two games with the Quakes, play the outfield Thursday and then continue his rehab with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Crawford batted .245 with a homer and three RBIs in 15 games before tearing his oblique on April 27. Due to the amount of time he’s missed, Mattingly said that he will require a lot of rehab time before rejoining the big league club:
I think he’s going to need a little bit,” Mattingly said. “Sixty days (since he played) – it’s almost like a winter and you’re starting spring training. So he’s going to need some time.”
Crawford, who is in his third year with the Dodgers, has missed time due to injury every year. While he was the starting left fielder when the season start, the early season success of Andre Ethier has led Mattingly to say that even when Crawford returns Ethier will be the starter.
The crowded outfield has thought to been a problem for the Dodgers in recent years since they acquired Crawford, but in reality Mattingly has never really needed to deal with the problem as one of the outfielders has always been injured. If Crawford comes back and all the other outfielders stay healthy, the organization could attempt to trade one of them for starting pitching help, although it is unlikely that Crawford will be the one that’s moved as he still has two years remaining on a seven-year, $142 million salary.