Carl Crawford could see time at designated hitter 'soon'

Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

The Dodgers' left fielder has yet to play a game this spring after Tommy John surgery in August.

Carl Crawford continued to increase his activity with a second straight day of hitting and throwing on Friday, and though the Dodgers have taken his rehab slowly the pace may increase in short order. Manager Don Mattingly said Friday night that Crawford may be able to serve as designated hitter in a Cactus League game shortly.

"Carl was good again today. We'll see how he does tomorrow. We're talking about him possibly DH-ing soon. We'll see how he pops out of these two days. We know he was sore today, body wise. Just regular soreness that you'll have playing, and in a different gear," Mattingly said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow, and make some decisions."

Crawford has seven plate appearances between two games on the minor league side at Camelback Ranch, shuffling between games against the Indians' Double-A and Triple-A teams. Crawford then threw, which consisted of playing catch at roughly 60 feet, which is what he also did on Thursday.

Mattingly began having the Dodgers pitchers hit on Mar. 10, wanting his pitchers to get ready for the season. But he said he would make an exception if it meant getting more at-bats for Crawford, who had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on Aug. 23. Using the designated hitter might require permission from the opposing manager.

The Dodgers play Cactus League games in American League ballparks on Wednesday against the Royals in Surprise, Mar. 24 against the Athletics in Phoenix, Mar. 25 against the Royals in Surprise, and Mar. 27 against the Mariners in Peoria.

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