WASHINGTON -- Carl Crawford completed his medical rehab assignment Saturday night in Oklahoma City and will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta on Monday. The next step is a bit more complicated.
Crawford capped his time in the minor leagues with a home run and hit .367 with four extra-base hits in 30 at-bats. The plan is to keep the starting outfield intact and use Crawford as a pinch hitter and to give Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig occasional days off.
“I see times when both Carl and Andre play,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Sunday. “We’ve got a chance to do some things and we’ll see where it goes. Carl’s been swinging the bat good and, obviously, ‘Dre’s been swinging the bat really good. The first two games here, I don’t think anybody has swung the bat better than Andre. He’s squared up everything he’s swung at.”
Accommodating Crawford on the 25-man roster will be the trickiest part. The Dodgers like the versatility Enrique Hernandez brings and he is the only bench player who can play shortstop, but he has options left and could be sent to the minor leagues with little hassle. Alex Guerrero can’t be sent to the minors because of his contract, though he has been reduced to pinch-hitting duties for more than a month and is batting .140 since June 9. Scott Van Slyke is the best option against left-handed pitching. Alberto Callaspo is out of options, so the only way to move him off the roster is to designate him for assignment.
Somebody’s got to go.
“It’s going to be a tough decision,” Mattingly said. “There have already been conversations about it back and forth and different ways we can go with it.”