A sprained ankle has forced the Los Angeles Dodgers to place left fielder Carl Crawford on the disabled list, alleviating the team’s difficulty finding playing time for all of their outfielders at least temporarily. Matt Kemp will step in to play left field full time, according to MLB.com’s Earl Bloom.
Crawford suffered the injury during the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ game on Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. Chris Heisey laced a double into the corner and Crawford rolled his ankle chasing after it. He’d need to be helped off the field, being replaced in left by Scott Van Slyke.
“It doesn’t look good,” manager Don Mattingly said after the game. “The video didn’t look good.”
X-rays on Crawford’s ankle were negative, but it remains to be seen how much time he will miss. He’d been hitting .267/.293/.400 in 157 plate appearances on the season.
With Crawford out of the lineup, this will free up a spot in the outfield for the Dodgers to play Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig on a daily basis. Kemp has been the odd man out in recent weeks, with some suggesting that the team feels he’s lost a step in the outfield. The belief is that he no longer has the range to be effective in center field and a move to left could prove beneficial. Kemp has sat out the team’s last five games, but should make his back into the lineup shortly.
Kemp is batting .262/.325/.450 on the year, in 163 PA. With a substantial amount left on his contract, both in years and dollars, there has to be hope that he can find himself again and get back to being a key contributor for the team’s offense regularly.
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