Why is Carl Crawford still doing his rehab in Arizona?

Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford hasn’t played since he strained an oblique muscle April 27 and still hasn’t resumed baseball activites in more than two weeks since. (Associated Press photo)

I asked a stupid question today, which isn’t unusual. The stupid question elicited an interesting answer, which is also not unusual. It’s one of the great paradoxes of my profession.

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Why Joc Pederson is batting leadoff for the first time in his career.

Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson is hitting leadoff for the first time in his major-league career against the San Francisco Giants. (Getty Images)

Don Mattingly‘s lineup card for Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants is more radically different than perhaps any this season.

Joc Pederson bats first for the first time. Jimmy Rollins bats second for the first time. Howie Kendrick is third, Adrian Gonzalez fourth and Yasmani Grandal seventh — all for the first time in 2015.

“Carl’s (injury) was the biggest” factor for changing the lineup, Mattingly said. “I think as we’ve watched Joc kind of, you know, keep growing, you want to get him in the mix, as far as getting more at-bats.”

Carl Crawford strained his right oblique muscle on Tuesday and is on the 15-day disabled list. Pederson is slashing .296/.458/.556 having batted no higher than seventh this season. His 16 walks are tied for second in the National League and his .458 batting average ranks third.
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