The Los Angeles Dodgers activated outfielder Carl Crawford (lower back tightness) from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. Zach Lee was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to clear room for Crawford on the 25-man active roster.
Crawford started the first three games of the season and appeared as a pinch-hitter in a fourth before landing on the DL on April 9. He was replaced by Trayce Thompson in left field in each of the three starts; twice in the sixth inning and once in the eighth.
The back issue is something Crawford dealt with during Spring Training, and initially hoped he’d avoid a stint on the DL and recover from it after a few days’ rest. An MRI on his back was then scheduled, though the veteran outfielder showed enough improvement that the exam was no longer deemed necessary.
Crawford was originally scheduled to get activated on Sunday, but a travel delay pushed back his rehab assignment. The 34 year old went 3-for-8 with two doubles and two RBIs over two games with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Crawford concluded his rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, batting 1-for-3 with one double. He played left field in all three games.
Soon after Crawford went down, the Dodgers also placed Scott Van Slyke (low back irritation) on the disabled list. Kiké Hernandez and Howie Kendrick split the bulk of the duties in left during the time since.
Crawford on the season is batting .300/.300/.400 (3-for-10) with one double, two RBIs and three strikeouts. Lee didn’t appear in any games after getting recalled on April 23.