As the Los Angeles Dodgers prepare for their week-long trip to Australia, the number of regulars making the trip remains unknown.
They’ll be without starting pitcher Zack Greinke for sure and may also be without fellow starter Dan Haren because of a tired arm. Now, it seems as if another member of the starting lineup could remain in the United States.
According to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, Dodgers’ outfielder Carl Crawford will have a decision to make regarding his travel this weekend:
Carl Crawford's girlfriend is expecting a baby any day now. He basically has until Sunday night to decide to go to Australia or stay back
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 14, 2014
Crawford and fiancé Evelyn Lozada are expecting their first child together at a time that may cause the outfielder to miss the first two regular season games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 32-year-old is expected to be the team’s starting left fielder and would leave manager Don Mattingly with a decision to make if he stays back. Players often miss time for the birth of their child, but never has a player had a decision like this to make because of the length of the trip to Australia. While the Dodgers would like to have Crawford for the series, the decision is entirely up to him and will need to be made before the Dodger plane departs on Sunday night.
This spring, Crawford is hitting just .136 with six walks and has yet to steal a base, after saying that he would like to be more aggressive on the base paths this season. He missed some time early in the spring with tightness in his hamstring, but has been in the lineup preparing for the season. If Crawford remains in the U.S., the Dodgers could turn to prospect Joc Pederson, Scott Van Slyke, Mike Baxter or Chone Figgins. They’ve all spent time in the outfield this spring and have done enough to warrant the starting spot.
All Crawford and the Dodgers can do at this point is await the arrival of the child and hope that it comes before Sunday night.
ICYMI: Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is excited to pitch Game 1 in Australia