During May and early June the Los Angeles Dodgers’ disabled list was made up of several starters and key contributors. Among them were Pedro Baez, Carl Crawford, Brandon League and Yasiel Puig.
Baez and Puig have since returned, League is nearing his, and now so too is Crawford. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Crawford is set begin a rehab assignment this week:
Carl Crawford expected to start playing games for Class-A Rancho Cuncamonga this week. Took live BP this weekend.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) June 28, 2015
Crawford tore his oblique back in April and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list after initially being placed on the 15-day DL. He hit .245/.260/.408 in just 15 games played prior to going down with the injury.
In his absence Alex Guerrero and Scott Van Slyke largely handled left field duties, with Andre Ethier sliding over upon Puig’s return. As part of a crowded outfield, it doesn’t appear Crawford will return in the same capacity before being sidelined.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly recently stated Ethier will remain the starter in left field even once Crawford is activated from the disabled list. In 71 games this season Ethier is slashing .260/.340/.457 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs.
Ethier’s success and Mattingly’s comments shouldn’t necessarily dismiss the idea of Crawford potentially regaining the starting spot. He’s historically hit better August through October throughout his career and could provide the Dodgers with a speed threat once his legs are back under him.