As I told anyone and everyone who would listen to me in Arizona this weekend, the number of 2013 games that the Dodgers had their outfield quartet of Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig healthy and available for nine full innings last season was zero. Nada. Not one. There were only two games in which they even started the day with all four available, and in each, Kemp left early, hurting his shoulder on July 5 against the Giants and mangling his ankle on July 21 in Washington.
Remember: last year’s team gave 99 starts to a group of Scott Van Slyke, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston, Nick Buss, Alex Castellanos, and Elian Herrera, then five more to Schumaker in the playoffs. While Joc Pederson wasn’t really in the mix yet, there’s no such thing as too many outfielders until there are literally too many outfielders, and so unless anyone’s greatly interested in seeing 50 starts out of Mike Baxter, any presumed pressure to trade an outfielder is premature until it’s not.
You can probably guess by now that no, there are still not too many outfielders:
Several people said Crawford was holding his R shoulder as he was carted away from a back field in AZ today. Story: http://t.co/WzPJ3LDdkV
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) March 18, 2014
Obviously, that’s not a concrete diagnosis, but it’s not great. The Dodgers haven’t commented yet, and aren’t expected to until Don Mattingly addresses the media in Australia, which, after figuring in the time difference, should be… in July. (Fine, it’s 10:30pm Pacific. tonight.)
Crawford clearly wasn’t playing in the two-game Australian set anyway, so this doesn’t change anything as far as the roster goes for the first two games of the season. Ethier will play center, Puig will play right, and just for kicks, Chone Figgins will probably start both games in left while Van Slyke sits, because the world is a cold dark place where joy does not exist. As far as the real season next week in San Diego, we’ll need to wait and hear more. Needless to say, since Kemp has barely even started playing in spring games, any talk of trading an outfielder should be completely shut down for now.
Unrelated — probably? — here’s Clayton Kershaw and his wife with a kangaroo, because absolutely.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 18, 2014