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There's no simple call to replace Carl Crawford on Dodgers' roster

Carl CrawfordMatt KempChris HeiseyDon MattinglyAlbuquerque IsotopesChris WithrowChone Figgins
Carl Crawford will go on the disabled list after suffering a sprained ankle in the Dodgers' win Tuesday
The Dodgers could call up Joc Pederson from triple-A Albuquerque to take Carl Crawford's place on the roster

Bad signs that Carl Crawford and his sprained ankle are going to be out for some time:

He was brought into Tuesday’s postgame clubhouse in a wheelchair. He limped into the shower and returned on crutches and with his left foot in a boot. Then he announced he was going on the disabled list.

“It’s going to take a while,” Crawford said. “It swelled up pretty bad on me. It’s just one of those things you have to treat and hope that it recovers quick.”

Slim chance of that. The ankle completely rolled on him as he chased a Chris Heisey double into the left-field corner and entered the warning track.

“It didn’t look good,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “The video didn’t look good, Stan [Conte, head trainer] didn’t sound good. We always say we’ll wait until tomorrow to see, but it didn’t look good.”

Bad ankle sprains can sometimes take longer to heal than broken ankles. X-rays showed no break, so Crawford will simply have to wait and see how the ankle responds.

“I’m in pain right now,” he said. “I’m in this boot, and it doesn’t feel good. They say it’s supposed to feel worse tomorrow, so I’m not looking forward to that.”

The Dodgers have yet to announce the other half of the roster move, and no doubt there will be a great outcry for hot-hitting prospect Joc Pederson to be brought up from triple-A Albuquerque.

Pederson has been tearing it up for the Isotopes, hitting .347 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs. Yet that may not be the way the Dodgers go.

Pederson is a center fielder who would have to play every day. That would mean moving Andre Ethier to left, which you figure the Dodgers would be loath to do after just announcing he was their everyday center fielder. And that would further alienate Matt Kemp, which they can’t be keen on.

They still have four outfielders; they also have Chone Figgins and, in a pinch, Dee Gordon who could play the outfield. So they could call up a utility-type, another reliever (Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow are in Albuquerque), or they could just bring up someone to act as a backup outfielder, such as a Mike Baxter.

Every outfielder on their 40-man roster is already with the Dodgers, but they have one spot open since releasing catcher Miguel Olivo.

There is not a clear, obvious, good choice to replace Crawford on the 25-man roster. The surplus of outfielders will come in handy now, and Kemp has some additional motivation to learn the nuances of playing left.

While Crawford -- who was hitting .356 in his last 22 games -- will have to hit reset again.

“It’s very frustrating because I’m going to have to dig deep again and try to get back at the level I was playing at,” he said. “That’s tough to do. It’s one of those things where I’m just going to have to go back and start over.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Carl CrawfordMatt KempChris HeiseyDon MattinglyAlbuquerque IsotopesChris WithrowChone Figgins
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