Carl Crawford roster status for Australia awaiting delivery

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

GLENDALE -- The Dodgers don't technically have to set their Opening Day roster until 7 p.m. PT Friday, March 21, six hours before their first game in Sydney. But by the time the Dodgers leave Camelback Ranch on Sunday night we'll have a pretty good idea of what the 25-man active roster will be.

A big question is whether or not Carl Crawford will be with the team in Australia, and it has nothing to do with his health.

The left fielder said on Friday his legs felt 100 percent and that he wasn't having any issues with his right quad or hamstring, both of which were tight early in camp. But Crawford's fiancée is expecting a baby "any day now," per Crawford, and he wants to be there for the birth of his child.

Crawford essentially has two days to decide what to do, since the Dodgers' plane leaves for Sydney late Sunday night (technically, 12:30 a.m. Monday morning). Manager Don Mattingly said it wasn't feasible for Crawford to join the team later in the week if he were to miss the team flight to Sydney.

Crawford, who was 1-for-4 with a stolen base on Friday against the Cubs, said he will take the next two days to figure out what to do.

"If you get to that scenario, you take an extra outfielder," manager Don Mattingly said.

Nick Buss is the only other outfielder on the Dodgers 40-man roster who won't already be either active or on the disabled list.

There is paternity leave, which allows a player to miss up to three days for child birth, and can be replaced by anyone on the 40-man roster. But otherwise Crawford would either need to be one of the three exempt spots on next Friday's 28-man roster, feel something in his leg and make a disabled list trip (which would make him also miss the three games in San Diego).

But since the Dodgers fly out Sunday night, the decisions must be made before then.

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