Carl Crawford’s comeback hits a snag for Dodgers

Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford chats with catcher Tim Federowicz before a game against the White Sox last week.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Meanwhile, back to the two steps forward, one step back routine …

Carl Crawford was making unexpected progress from his sprained ankle, so much so that the Dodgers thought they might be able to activate him when he was eligible to come off the disabled list last week in Cincinnati.

Now, though, Crawford has hit a roadblock in his comeback. Back at the team’s Phoenix training facility, the Dodgers have temporarily shut him down. He has not hit for the past two days, though Manager Don Mattingly was hesitant to say his recovery had regressed.

“He just quit going forward,” Mattingly said. “He was going so good, he’d ran and he was hitting. We really thought he was getting close. And then all of a sudden it seemed like he hit a level where he was feeling different things and wasn’t able to keep going.

“I look at it more that he’s gotten stuck.”

Crawford has been on the DL since May 27 after seeming to severely turn the ankle chasing a foul ball the previous night. While Crawford has been on the DL, Matt Kemp has become the Dodgers’ everyday left fielder while Andre Ethier has moved to center.


Crawford expressed frustration last week over his uncertain role with the Dodgers, saying:

“If ‘Dre (Ethier) is not hitting, something else is going to happen. If ‘Dre struggles, he is not going to play.

“They tell us one thing and something else happens. We can’t go by what they say. It’s been frustrating for all of us. We have to be men about the situation and accept what is going on and try to do the best for the team.”

Mattingly initially used Ethier as his everyday center fielder, but Sunday he was out of the lineup against a right-hander and Scott Van Slyke started in center. And more of the same platoon against left-handers is also expected.

“A little bit,” Mattingly said. “I think that comfort comes from Scott, playing it pretty much equally with Andre, that you feel comfortable with him out in center. It’s made it easier for him to do that.”