Daily Dodger in Review: Carl Crawford makes himself a home in left

Carl Crawford had a strong second half of the season but could be traded to clear up outfield jam

CARL CRAWFORD, 33, outfielder.

Final 2014 stats: .300 batting average, eight homers, 46 RBIs, 56 runs, 23 stolen bases, and .339 on-base and .429 slugging percentages in 370 plate appearances.

Contract status: Three more years at almost $65 million.

The good: After missing the month of June with a sprained ankle, returned to claim the starting left-fielder job and hit .326/.373/.451 the rest of the way. A left-handed batter who actually hit better against left-handers (.321) than right-handers (.296). Hit .329 at home, .333 in the second half and .448 in September.

The bad: Missed 41 games with ankle sprain, but at least avoided the kind of injury that leads to the operating table. Got off to slow start, batting just .185 in his first 24 games. Was five for 31 (.161) off the bench.

What’s next: Likely your starting left fielder, though the Dodgers would like to trade Andre Ethier or Crawford to unlock outfield jam.

The take: No one was thrilled with the mosaic outfield the Dodgers tried to use the first half, but once Manager Don Mattingly settled on Crawford as his everyday left fielder, the team seemed to find itself. Crawford still gave way to Scott Van Slyke against many left-handers.

Crawford is not exactly a spring chicken but his 23 steals were his most since 2010, when he had almost 300 more plate appearances, so if he can avoid injury he would remain a threat on the bases.

He hit all over in the lineup but seemed most comfortable in the sixth spot, which is where he settled when Yasiel Puig wasn’t slumping. Despite his athletic ability, Crawford can seem awkward in the outfield but his speed gets him to plenty of balls. Made three errors.

Crawford doesn’t have to be that guy who four times led the American League in steals and triples, but if he just approaches that level, the Dodgers will be satisfied. Even though his doubles were down (14), he still hit the ball hard most of last season.

Of course, the Dodgers are expected to move an outfielder this off-season, and he’s as good a candidate as anyone to be dealt.

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