LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Thursday afternoon activated Carl Crawford from the disabled list after the outfielder missed 40 games with a sprained left ankle, but he returns to a situation with limited playing time, at least to start.
"I talked to Donnie. Things have been going well for the team, so he pretty much said he's going to leave it like it is and mix me in whenever he can. There's not much I can say to that," Crawford said. "Guys have been playing extremely well and we're back in first place. I just have to be ready for when my number is called, stay sharp and play well when I do get in the game.
Crawford played four games in left field with Triple-A Albuquerque on a minor league rehab assignment that ended Tuesday night, and was 5-for-11 (.455) at the plate with two triples and a stolen base for the Isotopes.
Crawford is active, and says he's 100 percent. But he is a reserve for now. The team is a half-game ahead of San Francisco in the National League West and is 19-11 in its last 30 games, making it easier for Crawford to accept the relatively bad news.
"It's something you never want to hear," Crawford admitted. "We're winning, so you definitely don't want to be the guy complaining and bitching about dumb stuff. I'm not that guy."
Asked if he has played on teams with "that guy," Crawford laughed as he answered.
"You see them all the time," he said with a smile.
Crawford on the season is hitting .267/.293/.400 with four home runs, nine stolen bases and 21 runs scored in 44 games. Not that there is ever a good time to get hurt, but his ankle sprain came at a time when he was hot, hitting .333/.358/.513 in May.
With his hot hitting Crawford had started 17 of 22 games before getting hurt. Matt Kemp, banished from center field, has started 39 of 40 games in left, hitting .281/.335/.425 with eight doubles, three home runs, two triples and 21 RBI during that span.
Manager Don Mattingly was noncommittal about Crawford's playing time.
"We'll see how it goes," Mattingly said. "It depends on how we play."
To make room for Crawford, the Dodgers designated first baseman / outfielder Clint Robinson for assignment.
Robinson was 3-for-9 with a walk, three runs scored and two RBI in nine games. The 29-year-old left-hander was used mostly as a pinch hitter, but also played three games at first base, including one start. He was out of options, having used three option years in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
"We felt like he was swinging the bat well for us, but it was kind of a numbers thing," Mattingly said. "We hope he ends up in the big leagues with someone, and if he doesn't we hope he ends up back with us."
The Dodgers have 10 days to trade or release Robinson, and barring a deal he will have to be placed on waivers at some point in the next eight days. If Robinson clears waivers, the Dodgers can outright him to Triple-A Albuquerque if they so choose, which was the route taken with Jamie Romak in June.
The Dodgers have 39 players on their 40-man roster.