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2014 Dodgers review: Carl Crawford

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford saw another season affected by injuries in 2014 but overcame them enough to put together his best year in the last four.

What went right

Crawford had his best season since leaving Tampa Bay, hitting .300/.339/.429, a 118 OPS+, with a .338 wOBA, a 119 wRC+. He also stole 23 bases, more than his previous two seasons combined, and at a 79.3-percent clip.

He was especially productive over the final two months, hitting .403/.441/.561 with 30 runs scored over his final 44 games, including 33 starts.

Crawford formed a highly-effective platoon with Scott Van Slyke over the final two months of the season, validating manager Don Mattingly's decision to stick with Crawford as a nearly regular player just after the All-Star break.

For the bulk of Crawford's career he was an everyday player, with 29.6 percent of his plate appearances against left-handed pitching through 2013, never less than 24.1 percent in any one season. But in 2014, Crawford had just 17.3 percent of his PA against southpaws, though the times he did face them he was successful, hitting .321/.381/.500 with two home runs.

Crawford ended his regular season with 24 hits in final 50 at-bats, and was 30-for-67 in September, hitting .448/.473/.716, the fourth-highest batting average by a Dodger in any month since 1914 (minimum 75 plate appearances).

What went wrong

Those last two months gave Crawford some solid seasonal numbers, but through two-thirds of the season Crawford looked like a lost cause. After striking out in the second inning against Garrett Richards of the Angels on Aug. 4, Crawford was hitting a lowly .229/.266/.337.

Crawford missed 41 games from the end of May to just before the All-Star break with a sprained left ankle, his fourth straight season with at least one trip to the disabled list. Crawford from 2011-2014 - since leaving the Rays - has averaged just 96 games per season after averaging 146 games in eight full seasons in Tampa Bay, including six seasons of 151 or more games.

2014 particulars

Age: 32

Salary: $20.25 million

Game of the year

On May 3 against the Marlins in Miami, Crawford didn't start the game but he finished strong. Entering the game on defense in the 10th inning in left field, Crawford hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning off old friend Carlos Marmol to give the Dodgers a 9-7 win.

Roster status

It's hard to discusss Crawford without the parameters of his contract, which still has three years and $62.25 million remaining. The Dodgers will actively try to move at least one outfielder this offseason with Ethier and (to a lesser extent) Crawford the most likely to move. But until we hear otherwise, expect Crawford and his $20.5 million salary to platoon in left field with Scott Van Slyke in 2015.