Carl Crawford is expected to be benched after he returns to the Los Angeles Dodgers this week according to some less than subtle hints by manager Don Mattingly.
Matt Kemp took Crawford’s spot in the outfield after his injury and the team has since advance to first place in the National League. Mattingly commented that he would speak with Crawford about his role on the team when he returns, but also stated that he does not want to change anything. The team has been playing better with the current outfield which includes Kemp along with Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig.
Mattingly made sure to state that Crawford is not to blame for not being placed back in the lineup. He just so happened to be the one who got hurt and therefore lost his chance to portray his skills in such circumstances. There is no chance he will play another position, as Mattingly also stated that “Carl pretty much plays left.”
The Dodgers are paying Crawford $20.25 million this season and is owed another $62.25 million through 2017. He stated in an interview last month that he was unsure of his role on the team when he returns and the uncertainty is only increasing.
Crawford is batting .267 with four home runs throughout 44 games this season and has a .293 on-base percentage.
During his minor league rehabilitation stint at Triple-A Albuquerque, Crawford went five for eleven over the course of four games. He will be evaluated in Los Angeles on Wednesday and could be activated as soon as this Thursday.
With the sheer amount of money owed to him over the course of the season, it is unlikely Crawford will be warming the bench for too long.