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

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

Rob Tringali

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."

Notes

  • Mattingly confirmed on Saturday that Matt Kemp would be the designated hitter on Sunday as the Dodgers host the Indians at Camelback Ranch.
  • Following Chris Capuano on the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday will be Chad Billingsley, Ronald Belisario, Brandon League, and J.P. Howell.
  • One player from Dodgers minor league camp made the trip to Peoria: right-handed pitcher Ryan Acosta, wearing number 82. As Evan Chavez from I Bleed Dodger Blue reminded me, Acosta is the son of New Mexico native and former Yankees coach Oscar Acosta.
  • Hisashi Iwakuma starts for the Mariners, and among his scheduled mound followers are Jeremy Bonderman and Oliver Perez. (Let my) Kameron Loe, D.J. Mitchell, and Chance Ruffin are also scheduled to pitch for Seattle.
  • In addition, the four Mariners who recorded six outs in the seventh and eighth innings of their June 8 no-hitter against the Dodgers last season are all scheduled to pitch today: League for the Dodgers; Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, and Lucas Luetge for Seattle.
  • Brian Barden gets his first look at first base on Saturday, the first Dodger other than Adrian Gonzalez (five starts) and Juan Uribe (three starts) to start at the position so far this spring. Barden, who is 7-for-11 (.636) with two walks and a .692 on-base percentage, has played 12 innings in right field, five innings at third base, five innings at second base, and four innings in left field in Cactus League play.
  • Tommy Davis and Ron Cey will arrive in Camelback Ranch on Friday, Mar. 8 and spend a few days in camp as guest instructors.

Game info

Time: 12:05 p.m. PT

TV: none

Radio: 570 KLAC