Carl Crawford to begin rehab assignment Sunday

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Carl Crawford is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.

Crawford has been sidelined since June 1 with a strained left hamstring. The 31-year-old is slated to play two games as designated hitter and two in the outfield, so there’s a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers as soon as next Thursday if all goes well.

With Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Andre Ethier already in the outfield, something will have to give once Crawford is back to full health. Puig isn’t going anywhere at this point, so many believe Ethier will be the odd man out.

Crawford is batting .301/.358/.470 with 18 extra-base hits (five home runs), 13 RBI, and nine stolen bases in 51 games this season.

Mariners to hire Tim Laker as their hitting coach

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Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that the Mariners plan to hire Tim Laker as their new hitting coach. He’ll replace Edgar Martinez, who has moved into a different role with the club.

Laker has spent the past spent the past two years as the Arizona Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach. Before that he was a coach and manager in the minor league systems of the Indians and White Sox. He, of course, also spent 11 seasons in the Majors as a catcher, playing for the Indians, Expos, Devil Rays, Pirates and Orioles.