Carl Crawford successfully completed a multigame rehab assignment with the Albuquerque Isotopes, which included hitting a triple and now awaits his reinstatement from the disabled list.
During Crawford’s stint on the DL with a sprained ankle, Matt Kemp settled into left field and had a productive June. Kemp hit .317 in the month with three home runs, 16 RBIs and a .900 OPS.
Although Crawford is on the verge of returning, manager Don Mattingly said it doesn’t mean Kemp will be moved back to center, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“Not right now. I like what’s going on in center. We’re playing pretty well. We’ll talk about it. But as long as we’re playing well and continue to win, we’ll have conversations with everybody.”
With one less outfielder to juggle or worry about, Mattingly the lineup has had more consistency, which in turn may have played a role in Kemp’s improved production and the Dodgers’ surge to the top of the National League West standings.
While Crawford expressed his frustration with the outfield jam and questioned where he would fit in, Mattingly doesn’t believe he’s to blame for any unrest that may arise:
It’s the number of guys that makes everybody unhappy,” he said. “It’s not who it is.”
With the non-waiver trade deadline approaching, it’s plausible the Dodgers attempt to move one of the outfielders. General manager Ned Colletti targeted the bullpen as an area he would like to get settled, which may be aided by the Boston Red Sox.
In the meantime, Crawford’s pending return will give the Dodgers another bat off the bench that’s lacked some punch since Justin Turner was placed on the DL.
Crawford is hitting .267 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 44 games this season.
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