How good is Carl Crawford? The trade that was completed after he had Tommy-John surgery was still considered a blockbuster deal even though he was clearly out of action for a while. This spring as he was trying to rehab quickly to get ready for opening day, Crawford suffered a small setback. Now, with his big name lead-off hitter rehabbing in the minor leagues, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is moving mountains to get him back.
The problem is that Crawford needs to work on timing and get at-bats but cannot play in the outfield as of yet because the elbow isn’t fully ready. That has Mattingly exploring what options he can use to get Crawford back to Cactus League games instead of the minors. Obviously timing is crucial to any hitter. With Crawford having to play minor league games, he isn’t facing the top of the line pitching that he needs to face to get ready.
Mattingly’s only real option is to ask his competitors each game to reinstate the designated hitter for their game. Most teams in the National League are ready to get their pitchers in the box and have them get ready to face major league pitching as well. It seems likely however that at least some teams would help Mattingly out with his request. After all, who doesn’t want to give an extra guy four to five at-bats? It still looks like Crawford will be late in joining his Dodgers teammates but it is good to see Mattingly doing everything he can to make it happen as soon as possible.