Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford will DH in a minor-league game again today. He did the same yesterday and his seven plate appearances “went good,” in Crawford’s words. (Major-league players on rehab assignments are allowed to bat once an inning, in different spots in the order, in minor league games.)
“My timing’s getting better,” Crawford said. “I took a a few good swings. I’m starting to track (the ball) a little bit.”
If he had to hit in a major-league game tomorrow? “I think I’d be OK,” Crawford said.
Update (9:30 a.m.): Crawford may get to find out. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that he may use tomorrow’s home game against the Milwaukee Brewers to get Crawford his first at-bats of the spring. The Dodgers also have a split-squad road game scheduled for 1 p.m. against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If Crawford doesn’t play tomorrow, he could DH in Monday’s home game against the Diamondbacks. Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has already disallowed use of the DH in a game once this spring, but use of the DH in spring games is determined by the home manager, regardless of whether the game is in an American or National League park.
“Even though I want the pitchers to hit, Carl takes precedence,” Mattingly said.
For the third straight day, Crawford will test his throwing from approximately 90 feet, the same distance he was throwing from when team trainers temporarily shut down his rehab program two weeks ago.
Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last August and remains questionable to play Opening Day. He hasn’t appeared in a game since August 19, 2012.
Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke said there’s “zero chance” he would be at full strength April 2, when he is scheduled to make his first start of the season, but didn’t rule out pitching that day in an interview with Sirius XM Sports.
“I don’t know for sure,” Greinke said when asked if he’d be able to make the start. “We’re just kind of working with the training staff. I’m kind of going by what they tell me. It’s probably zero chance I’ll be throwing that day at a full 120 pitches but to actually pitch that day, I don’t know what percentage but it’s definitely possible.”
The Dodgers reassigned infielder Brian Barden, infielder Hector Luna and outfielder Jeremy Moore to minor league camp, reducing the number of players in major-league camp to 48.
Barden’s .478 batting average was the highest of any Dodger with more than three Cactus League at-bats. The 31-year-old from San Diego had nine singles and two doubles among his 11 hits, and was doing it against pitching that was somewhere above Triple-A, but below major-league quality, according to baseball-reference.com’s Opponent Quality Index:
Luna was hitting .313/.313/.389 and Moore .333/.407/.542. Neither player has extensive major-league experience. Barden does — 119 games’ worth — but he wasn’t going to make the team without injuries to several of the infielders on the 40-man roster (Gonzalez, Ellis, Ramirez, Cruz, Gordon, Punto, Uribe, Sellers).
Moore was scratched from the Dodgers’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. Yasiel Puig started in his place.
Carl Crawford took his first swings against live pitching on Feb. 25, but was shut down four days later.
Carl Crawford was scheduled to face three live major-league pitchers Tuesday, teammates J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen and Brandon League. He saw about 20 pitches each from Howell and Jansen, pouncing off one Jansen pitch that bounced off the left-field fence. Then Crawford walked off the field along with coaches and a trainer; League had to face a pair of Dodgers minor-league hitters instead.
I started toying with this mental exercise last night: What if the state of California had a team in the World Baseball Classic?
Forget about how many players would decline invitations. Forget about generational eligibility — if you were born in California, you’re eligible (which is fine, since I had a better chance of making Team Wisconsin anyways). What would that team look like? Could it contend?
Matt Palmer will have surgery tomorrow in Arizona to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The team originally announced that he would miss six to eight weeks, but Palmer gave a more optimistic, more detailed timetable Monday.
“They say I can throw in two weeks, throw off a mound in three-and-a-half to four,” he said. “I could be back (in a game) by six weeks.”