Dodgers News: Crawford Believes Turf At Tropicana Field Contributed To Injuries
Dodgers News: Crawford Believes Turf At Tropicana Field Contributed To Injuries
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday marked the return of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, as he was reinstated from the disabled list after missing time with back soreness.

Crawford went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his first game back, and played all nine innings for the first time this season. Prior to that, Crawford had been replaced by Trayce Thompson in the sixth inning in his first two games, and in the eighth inning of the series finale against the San Diego Padres.

Injuries have been an issue for the 34 year old in recent seasons. He’s been limited to 116, 105 and 69 games played in his three seasons with the Dodgers.

Crawford spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, during which he established himself as a durable All-Star outfielder. From 2003-06, Crawford never appeared in less than 151 games.

Outside of his rookie year in 2002, he appeared in at least 109 games over nine seasons with the Rays. Although Crawford enjoyed plenty of success in Tampa Bay, he believes it’s come at a cost, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

“I played real aggressively on turf for nine years,” he said. “I’m lucky I’m still walking the way I’m walking now. I’m still walking, at least.”

Crawford added he didn’t give much consideration to various bumps and bruises as a younger player:

“I played through a lot of stuff,” he said. “You’re young. You don’t think about it. You’re 24, 25 years old. Your body can hold up a little better than at 34, 35.”

In nine games on the season, Crawford is 5-for-25 with three runs scored, one double, one triple and two RBIs. While he is back and healthy, Dodgers managerDave Roberts plans to be cautious with Crawford, playing him three or four times a week to avoid overworking the veteran outfielder.

The Dodgers do have plenty of options in left field, with Kiké Hernandez, Howie Kendrick and Trayce Thompson all receiving starts at the position this season.