The Dodgers placed Carl Crawford on the disabled list Saturday morning, the seventh time in the last six seasons the 34-year-old outfielder has ended up there. The cause this time was soreness in his lower back, which has affected him since the middle of March.
The team recalled infielder Micah Johnson, who could useful on the bases as a pinch runner for Manager Dave Roberts. Johnson also played the outfield on Friday night for triple-A Oklahoma City.
With Crawford out, Roberts intends to split the playing time in left field between veteran Scott Van Slyke and rookie Trayce Thompson. Enrique Hernandez could also receive the occasional start there.
Crawford had tried to play through the discomfort, but decided he had to stop on Friday. He will undergo an MRI examination on Monday in Los Angeles. But in the interim, the team decided to shut him down for at least two weeks.
"He was in favor of it," Roberts said. "It takes the pressure off him. It allows us some roster flexibility, with Micah here, who can play the infield, play the outfield, be a left-handed bat off the bench, pinch run. It's a win-win for all of us."
Crawford played an average of 80 games a year from 2012 to 2015. The Dodgers owe him $43.5 million through 2017.