It’s been months since the Los Angeles Dodgers were near full strength, which, aside from season-ending injuries to Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, they are closing in on. Several players recently completed rehab assignments with Carl Crawford on track to become the latest in that group.
Recovering from a torn oblique muscle, Crawford joined High-A Rancho Cucamonga on June 30 and was back in the Quakes lineup the following day. He was hit by a pitch on his foot, which knocked him out of the game and he’s since battled illness.
The 33-year-old outfielder was at Dodger Stadium on Friday and said ideally he would be activated from the DL during the homestand, via Dodgers.com:
I would love to [be reinstated prior to the All-Star break]. That’s what I’m aiming for. I can’t say when I’m going to come back, but I’m definitely going to try and do everything I can to get back before the break. Try to help contribute and do whatever the team needs.”
While Crawford was hopeful, if not optimistic he would return over the next nine days, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wasn’t as certain. I shouldn’t say it’s impossible, but he’s been out for a while and hasn’t played that much,” Mattingly said.
“If we have a need and he’s swinging the bat well and playing good, I guess it’s a possibility. But it’s not really part of the plan right now.” Mattingly went on to add Crawford will first need to join Triple-A Oklahoma City, where the outfielder would’ve been Friday if not for feeling under the weather.
“He would have been in Oklahoma City today [Friday] if he didn’t have this little illness,” Mattingly said. “We just wanted him to feel good before he takes off for Oklahoma City.” Crawford is expected to join the OKC Dodgers at some point over the weekend.
Limited to 15 games (13 starts) this season, Crawford is batting .245/.260/.408. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list June 1, which will require to make a corresponding move on the 40-man roster in order to activate the left fielder.