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Carl Crawford reinstated from DL, joins crowded Dodger outfield

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The Dodgers activated Carl Crawford from the 15-day disabled list Thursday, the team announced in a press release. The veteran joins a crowded outfield that includes 2014 All Star right fielder Yasiel Puig, leftfielder Matt Kemp, and the centerfield platoon of Andre Ethier, and Scott Van Slyke. Crawford, a left fielder by trade, figures to occasionally spell Kemp, and assume pinch-hitting and pinch-running duties.

Winners of 20 of their last 31 contests, Los Angeles is in first place, one game ahead of the Giants. The outfield continuity has helped the players perform and settle into their roles. Though Dodger manager Don Mattingly would like to get him some action, finding the right spot to use Crawford might prove difficult.

“We’re not in Spring Training so we can’t schedule at bats for guys,” Mattingly said. “I see the next couple of days getting Carl a start. He’ll be in there before the (All Star) break.”

Crawford went on the disabled list May 28 after suffering a sprained left ankle May 27 in Cincinnati. In 44 games for Los Angeles this season, the 32-year old is batting .267 with a .293 on-base percentage. Crawford has four homers, six doubles, nine stolen bases and 18 runs batted in. In four rehab games at Triple-A Albuquerque, Crawford went 5-for-11 with two triples and one run batted in.

To make room on the roster for Crawford, the team designated Clint Robinson for assignment. Robinson appeared in nine games for the Dodgers and batted .333 (3-for-9), with two RBI after his contract was selected from Albuquerque on June 25. The 29-year old first baseman collected his first big league hits and runs batted in during his stint with Los Angeles. His only other Major League experience came in a six-day stay with Kansas City in which he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Originally drafted by the Royals in the 25th round of the 2007 draft, Robinson is a minor league veteran with more than 3,000 Minor League at bats to his credit.

The Dodgers close the first half of the season with games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday against the Padres before the All Star break. They resume play July 18 in St. Louis for a three-game set against the Cardinals.

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