Carl Crawford returns to batting practice against live pitching

Rob Tringali

The left fielder took batting practice against live pitchers on Tuesday for the first time in 15 days, though there is still no timetable for his return to throwing.

Carl Crawford took the next step in his rehabilitation on Tuesday, as he faced live pitchers at Camelback Ranch. It was the sixth consecutive day Crawford has taken batting practice of some sort, and his quantity has increased from 50 swings each day to start up to over 120 on Tuesday.

"It was a step in the right direction," Crawford said.

Crawford faced left-hander J.P. Howell for 28 pitches and right-hander Kenley Jansen for 16 more on the back fields on Tuesday.

Crawford last took live batting practice on Feb. 25, but that in concert with other increased activities in Crawford's workout caused him to feel minor nerve irritation in his left forearm, though not in any tendons or ligaments affected by his Tommy John surgery in August. The Dodgers shut Crawford down for a week until he resumed batting practice in the batting cages on Mar. 7.

"I thought he was pretty good today. What he gets today is probably 10 at-bats. That's the equivalent of five days of spring training games for guys," said manager Don Mattingly. "As he gets built up and takes his swings, we could hypothetically get him eight, nine at-bats per game on the minor league side."

Mattingly said that while there isn't yet a timetable for Crawford to return to throwing, how the left fielder feels on Wednesday will be an important step in the process.

"It's going to be the volume of work that (the training staff is) allowing him to do," Mattingly said. "Tomorrow should be a big day for us because the last day he took live hitting, he came back the next day and was feeling stuff. We'll see tomorrow how he comes out of it."

Notes

  • Howell, Jansen, and Brandon League also threw a scoreless inning in an exhibition game against Japan's Meiji University, visiting Camelback Ranch for three days. League didn't pitch to Crawford, but did throw 21 pitches in a second simulated inning to minor leaguers J.P. Phillips and Darnell Sweeney.
  • Ronald Belisario reported to Dodgers camp on Tuesday, two days after his final game in the World Baseball Classic with Venezuela, who was eliminated in the first round.
  • Starter Josh Beckett is expected to pitch five innings or throw roughly 75 pitches on Tuesday night. He will be followed on the mound by Ted Lilly, who will through roughly three innings. Shawn Tolleson and Juan Abreu also made the trip to Goodyear with the Dodgers.
  • Mat Latos starts for the Reds, and will be followed on the mound by Sam LeCure, Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra, and J.J. Hoover.
  • Dodgers minor leaguers in uniform Tuesday night for Dodgers include pitchers Geison Aguasviva (No. 84) and Red Patterson (No. 89); infielders Rafael Ynoa (No. 83), Miguel Rojas (No. 88), C.J. Retherford (No. 90) and Scott Van Slyke (No. 94); and outfielders Matt Angle (No. 82) and Jeremy Rathjen (No. 87).
  • A.J. Ellis will attend Tuesday night's Kings vs. Coyotes NHL game, and will appear with Patrick O'Neal on the Prime Ticket broadcast between the first and second periods.
  • Above the locker for Luis Cruz, someone in the Dodgers' clubhouse replaced his normal nameplate with one that read "Luis De La Hoya."

Game info

Time: 7:05 p.m. PT

TV: none

Radio: MLB.com (Reds broadcast)

MLB Gameday

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