After making several excellent defensive plays in left field and driving a bases-clearing double to center field during his third rehab game with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Tuesday night, Dodger left fielder Carl Crawford gave every indication that he is ready to return to the Dodgers lineup.
Crawford went 1 for 4 on the night, the most at bats he has had in any of his three rehab games thus far. He also flied out to left, scorched a line drive out to short (also with the bases loaded) and struck out swinging in his final plate appearance in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Although Crawford has done well with the bat through his three rehab starts thus far (4 for 10 with a double and 3 RBIs), it is his defense that was most impressive.
In the top of the 4th, 66ers first baseman Michael Snyder hit a sinking line drive single that landed just in front of a charging Crawford. Sixty-sixers second baseman Alex Yarbrough, who had doubled ahead of Snyder, rounded third and was preparing to head home when third base coach Brenton Del Chiaro put up the stop sign. It was a wise decision, as Crawford’s strong throw to the plate was right on target and Yarbrough would have easily been tagged out by Quakes catcher Pratt Maynard. This throw to the plate was by far the best throw I have seen Crawford make since he joined the Dodgers last August. Crawford, as you may recall, underwent shoulder surgery two days before being traded to the Dodgers from the Red Sox along with Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.
Although Crawford is scheduled to make one additional rehab start with the Quakes on Wednesday evening, he very well may be rejoining the Dodgers before Thursday’s series finale with the Rockies at Coors Field.