Could Carl Crawford’s injury open the door to Alex Guerrero in left field?

Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford watches the ball's flight as he runs to first base in a game against the Padres in San Diego on April 24.

Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford watches the ball’s flight as he runs to first base in a game against the Padres in San Diego on April 24.

(Denis Poroy / Getty Images)

With Carl Crawford possibly headed to the disabled list, could Alex Guerrero get his playing time in left field?

Crawford tripled in the second inning of the Dodgers’ 8-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday, then left the game in the third inning after he was unable to swing a bat without pain, according to Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly.

The Dodgers called the injury “tightness in his right side.” Mattingly said it “sounds like” an oblique injury, which generally can take about a month to heal.

Crawford was unavailable for comment after the game. Mattingly said the Dodgers would evaluate Crawford again Tuesday.


“Historically, things like that don’t really go away overnight,” Mattingly said. “But we’ve got to give it a shot.”

If Crawford is put on the disabled list, it would be his fifth stint in four years, all for different injuries (wrist and elbow in 2012, hamstring in 2013, ankle in 2014).

Guerrero is batting .500, and he has hit a home run in each of the last three games in which he has had an at-bat. He ranks second on the team in homers (5) and runs batted in (13) but ranks 11th on the team in at-bats (22).

Mattingly said Guerrero could see playing time at shortstop, third base and left field. With an injury to Crawford, the Dodgers could split playing time in left field among Guerrero, Scott Van Slyke and Andre Ethier. At the moment, Ethier is playing right field in place of the injured Yasiel Puig.

“We’re going to have to find at-bats for Alex the way he is swinging,” Mattingly said.