Carl Crawford injury: Who starts in left field for Dodgers?

Rob Tringali

Manager Don Mattingly said he would likely use a platoon in place of Carl Crawford while the left fielder is out.

With Carl Crawford out a week while dealing with minor nerve irritation in his left arm, thoughts turn to possible replacements in left field should Crawford not be able to be ready for opening day. But Crawford, who was said to have felt much better on Saturday than he felt earlier in the week, might not be ready to concede his lack of readiness by Apr. 1.

"I think Carl is a guy that works and works and works. We just have to make sure we protect Carl from Carl in the rehab process," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "He feels good today, and is already thinking, 'When can I start up again?'"

Yasiel Puig gets the start in left field for the Dodgers on Saturday as they take on the Mariners, but the Dodgers don't see the 22-year-old Cuban as even a temporary replacement for Crawford, yet, given Puig's relative lack of game action in the last two years.

When asked who might fill in for Crawford in left field in April should he not be ready for opening day, Mattingly said he would platoon the right-handed hitting Jerry Hairston Jr. and the left-handed hitting Skip Schumaker, echoing his sentiments from the very first day of pitchers and catchers reporting to camp.

"Jerry we felt like always was going to be the guy to give Andre (Ethier) a break, or give Carl a break, against the nasty lefty if we're going to give them a day off now and then. We know Schu plays all three outfield positions," Mattingly said. "If you're asking me today off the top of my head, those two guys give me a left/right situation for left field."

Mattingly said he would get Schumaker more looks in left field as spring training goes on. Thus far, Schumaker has only played center field and second base.

Mattingly was asked if the organization would rather have the raw Puig start in the minor leagues than replace Crawford in left field he said, "Yeah, that's a good way to look at it."


Game info

Time: 12:05 p.m. PT

TV: none

Radio: 570 KLAC

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