DENVER -- Don Mattingly praised flux left fielder Scott Van Slyke on Saturday, a day after the 27-year-old threw out two hits and a three-run home run in the team’s 9-0 win against the against the Colorado Rockies.
In the next breath, Mattingly talked about another left fielder, Carl Crawford. His tone changed and his smile tempered, instead choosing to leave the 32-year-old’s status up in the air until he returns from the disabled list.
“I’m not that worried about it, honestly, right now,” Mattingly said about the impending return of Crawford, who has been on the DL since May 28 with a sprained left ankle. “I’ll just kind of deal with it when it gets here. We’re playing pretty good, (and) we don’t expect to make a bunch of changes and mess with what’s going on.”
Since Crawford’s absence, Mattingly has made due with a crowded outfield -- one that features Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and as of now, Van Slyke -- and currently holds a 1.5-game lead on San Francisco in the NL West after spending a month digging out of a 9.5-game hole.
Asked if the current outfield setup doesn’t bode well for Crawford, Mattingly merely shrugged his shoulders.
“You know what? You never know what happens in five days -- six days,” he said. “Thing tend to work themselves out.”
Mattingly went on to say he liked the team’s current continuity, however, and hoped they would be able to keep that going.
“I think we’ve been fine. I like the way we’re playing and I think the continuity is good. I’ve been happy with everything,” he said.
Crawford, who is owed more than $80 million over the next four years, will play six innings with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday.
His future with the Dodgers is very uncertain at this point.