Carl Crawford was the Dodgers’ primary left fielder prior to landing on the disabled list in late May with a left ankle sprain, but now he’s a really expensive bench player.
The Dodgers have officially activated Crawford from the disabled list for tonight’s game against Padres. However, now that Matt Kemp has taken over as the regular left fielder, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn’t plan on making any changes with his lineup. This means that Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig will remain the regular outfield alignment on most days.
Crawford, 32, was batting .267/.293/.400 with four home runs, 18 RBI, and nine stolen bases over 44 games prior to the injury. He’s still owed around $10 million for the remainder of this season, $20.25 million in 2015, $20.75 million in 2016, and $21 million in 2017.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.