Carl Crawford likely 2-3 days away from return to field

Mike McGinnis

The Dodgers are taking it easy with Crawford as he deals with right quad tightness.

GLENDALE -- The Dodgers will use Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon in center field on Sunday against the Padres at Camelback Ranch, but they won't be joined in the outfield by Carl Crawford.

Manager Don Mattingly said that Crawford likely wouldn't play in the field for another two or three days.

"I know he felt okay yesterday. I think he still feels a little something in there," Mattingly said. "I don't really want to send him out there until he feels like he can do everything out there without going backwards."

Crawford felt tightness in his right quad on Wednesday and sat the next two days, but returned to the lineup on Saturday, going 0-for-1 with a walk as a designated hitter. Crawford after Saturday's game said he still felt tightness in the quad.

On Sunday, Crawford took extra batting practice, along with Matt Kemp and A.J. Ellis, against Zach Lee.

"I think [Crawford's] biggest concern is getting his at-bats," Mattingly said. "The more live at-bats we can keep getting him, we're going to be fine. He'll have enough playing time to be totally comfortable in the outfield."

Joc Pederson starts in left field for the Dodgers on Sunday.

On the mound, Josh Beckett makes his 2014 Cactus League debut with a start against a split squad Padres team. Other Dodgers expected to pitch on Sunday are Paul Maholm, Stephen Fife, Sam Demel and Daniel Moskos.

Robbie Erlin starts for the Padres, and is expected to be followed on the bump by Jesse Hahn, Kevin Quackenbush, Leonel Campos, Blaine Boyer and Patrick Schuster.

Gordon played all over the outfield in the Dominican Winter League with Licey during the offseason, though when he went to Puerto Rico he played exclusively second base. He and Chone Figgins are the utility men this spring who figure to see time in the outfield as well to give the team some versatility if needed.

Joining Gordon in the scheduled Dodgers reserves on Sunday are Nick Buss in left field, Clint Robinson at first base (Mattingly compared his swing to that of John Olerud: "He's a big guy with a short swing."), Mike Baxter in right field, Miguel Olivo at catcher, Brendan Harris at third base and Miguel Rojas at shortstop.

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