All season long the Los Angeles Dodgers have dealt with a logjam in the outfield.
Manager Don Mattingly began the year mixing and matching before settling on a core outfield of Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. Crawford dealt with some injuries, giving some time to Scott Van Slyke and Andre Ethier, but has come back stronger than before after his most recent disabled list stint.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Crawford talked about his recent hot streak:
It’s good he’s picked me to be one of the guys to go out there every day,” Crawford said. “He has confidence in me, so that’s a good feeling. I try to do everything I can to go out there and make him look smart.”
The former All-Star outfielder is hitting .434 in his last 26 games, including a 4-for-4 performance on Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres.
Mattingly had some positive words when talking about his left fielder:
Carl will compete, Carl works, Carl is not afraid and Carl just goes,” Mattingly said. “If there’s been any knock on Carl, it’s been that he’s been hurt a few times. When he plays and starts to get going, he’s pretty danged good.”
Crawford has settled into the bottom half of the order, combining with Juan Uribe to give the Dodgers a spark where most teams struggle for production. The 33-year-old seems to have his legs back under him as well with 22 stolen bases on the season. He has worked his batting average up to .289 and has begun driving the ball to all fields.
The move down in the order has been good for Crawford and he has no issue with his spot:
I don’t know, it could be,” he said. “I don’t know if you get a little more relaxed down in the order. It’s a possibility. At the same time, I just try to have my swing ready for wherever I hit in the lineup.”
The Dodgers saw Crawford heat up in the postseason last year and will hope for more of the same as they inch closer to October.
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