Crawford, who was considered a disappointment in his two years in Boston, is happy to have a fresh start in Los Angeles.
“Things didn’t go as planned in Boston,” Crawford said. “I’m happy for a new start. I just didn’t play well enough there, for whatever reason. It just didn’t work. I didn’t do my part.”
Crawford, who is also two months removed from Tommy John surgery, insists that he will be ready for spring training.
It’s likely that Shane Victorino, acquired last year via trade to play left field, will not be retained and the left field position will be all Crawford’s.
He possesses the ability to hit for speed and power. He will likely be used at the top of the lineup. Whether he bats first or second will depend on what the Dodgers plan to do with Dee Gordon.
The lack of a true leadoff hitter really hurt the Dodgers last season following the thumb injury Gordon suffered in June. They used Mark Ellis, Victorino, Elian Herrera, among others at the top of the order, but were never able to establish a true leadoff man.
Crawford has led the league in stolen bases four separate times and holds a .292 career batting average. 2010 was a career year for him as he batted .307 with 19 home runs and 90 runs batted in.
He was the forgotten man in the huge trade that involved Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, mainly due to him being injured and not being on the active roster.
If he could do it over again, Crawford would have heeded the advice of Dr. James Andrews and had his surgery earlier in the year as opposed to late August.
“I tried to push through with the Boston fans,” he said. “A big deal is made about the money and I wanted to play for them. Maybe I should have taken care of myself. I felt pressure from the outside to play, in that atmosphere.”
If Crawford can get back to the form he possessed as Tampa Bay Rays, it bodes well for the Dodgers. Having a guy that can get on base with speed at the top of the order will only enhance the offense that was showing signs during the last week of the 2012 season.
Crawford, for one is excited to be a member of the newly revamped Dodgers and is eager to show what he can do.
“Once I start playing like I normally play, I won’t be the forgotten guy,” he said. “I definitely have a lot of baseball left in me. It’s good to get a second chance.”