Carl Crawford grateful to be playing for Dodgers

Carl Crawford grateful to be playing for Dodgers
Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford has cut down on intense pregame workout routines in an effort to stay healthy on the field. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The regular season is almost over and Carl Crawford is still healthy.

"I'm just grateful," Crawford said.


This time last year, Crawford was recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery.

"Just to be able play baseball again, to be able to do what I've done all my life, not having to worry about getting hurt," Crawford said.

Crawford played in his 106th game Thursday. He played in only 31 last season for the Boston Red Sox, who traded him to the Dodgers days after his operation. The former All-Star outfielder said his body is holding up fine.

Crawford, 32, said he felt more aches and pains early in the season than he does now. After straining his left hamstring in early June, he listened to the Dodgers and cut down his intense pregame and postgame workout routines. The team thought he was working out too hard.

"I think that's why I've been OK since the break," Crawford said. "Early on, warming up, I was doing too much. Ever since then, I've cut down and I've been fine. I haven't been hurt again. Scaling down has been helpful for me.

"It's hard to do that, though, when you're used to doing things a certain way. Sometimes, at this age, it seems like my body can't take that pounding all the time. I've had to take a step back from pretty much everything. I know that's not what you want to hear, but if it keeps me on the field, it's just something I have to do."

Manager Don Mattingly has made a concerted effort to periodically rest Crawford, as he did Wednesday in the Dodgers' series finale against Arizona. Crawford also thinks he has benefited from the month he missed in the middle of the season.

"I missed three weeks, so I'm not as tired as most guys would normally be at this stage," Crawford said. "I just feel normal right now."

Crawford would prefer to play every day over the last couple of weeks of the regular season to prepare for the playoffs.

"I just want to keep playing," he said.

Capuano to the bullpen

Chris Capuano knows where he stands. That being the case, the veteran left-hander said he is willing to move into a relief role to make the Dodgers' postseason roster.

"If we're lucky enough to get into the postseason, and it looks like we will, we'll only need three or four starting pitchers," Capuano said. "My interest will be working out of the bullpen. Hopefully, I can get two or three outings in preparation."

For that to happen, Capuano will first have to throw a bullpen session Friday.


Capuano strained his groin in his most recent start, Sept. 6 in Cincinnati. He pitched only 1 2/3 innings.

Edinson Volquez has replaced Capuano as the Dodgers' fifth starter and remains in line to pitch the series finale against the Giants on Sunday.

Short hops

Andre Ethier presented the Union Rescue Mission with a $75,000 check before the game. … Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin was honored by the National Hispanic Media Coalition at its 11th annual Local Impact Awards luncheon.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez