Dodgers reporter David Vassegh sounded off on the Crawford-vs-all-other-outfielders debate earlier this week on Dodger Talk, stating simply that “It is time for Crawford to have a seat. He should not be the starter right now.” This remark coming off the heels of young Trayce Thompson’s walk-off dinger earlier that Tuesday night vs The Mets.
And if you are anything like me, you can’t help but agree with him, wholeheartedly.
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Since coming over in the trade that brought Adrian González, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, Crawford has only been able to muster flashes of his former all-star self when he was in Tampa. In his time with the Dodgers, he has fueled the somewhat fiery debate as to who should be the starting three outfielders. However, his performance has made it difficult for C.C. sympathizers to argue his case for a starting spot. Now that his presence in the lineup means the relegation of the very talented Kiké Hernández and Trayce Thompson to the bench, his poor performance has been the source of a lot of frustration for many Dodger fans.
So far this year, Crawford is batting a very meager .200 and hasn’t shown a consistent ability to hit the ball very hard. In the meantime, Kiké has spent a lot of time out of the lineup. While his current batting average is only a few ticks better than Crawford’s, (.212) he has demonstrated the ability to force pitchers to throw more pitches in at-bats against him and has two home runs so far this year, both off of the tough lefty Madison Bumgarner.
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The easiest starting argument can be made for Thompson. So far this year, he is batting .273 with 4 homers. All of this achieved without a regular starting position.
The one burning question that I can’t help but ask whenever Crawford is starting in the lineup is – how many runs are the Dodgers costing themselves by starting C.C. over all other starters? My other final question remains – how much longer can we expect to see Crawford in the start lineup while we can only wonder how great Thompson can be?
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