7/4/2013 8:06 P.M. ET
Crawford's return puts Dodgers in 'sticky' situation
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
DENVER -- Carl Crawford has completed his injury rehab assignment, will meet the Dodgers on Friday in San Francisco, and manager Don Mattingly will finally be faced with mathematical reality.
"It will be a little sticky, honestly," said Mattingly. "Only three spots and four guys, and one of the guys gets three hits a night right now. It's going to be difficult."
Mattingly gets to explain to Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and the guy with three hits a night, Yasiel Puig, which one gets left out of the starting lineup each game.
"Once everybody gets here, everybody is going to have to give in a little," Mattingly said optimistically.
Mattingly said the club had not decided whether Crawford would be activated for Friday's series opener against the Giants, but with a day off Thursday after playing in four rehab games, that's the likely scenario.
Crawford was 5-for-13 in the four games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. When he is activated, it will be the first time this season that the Dodgers haven't had a position player on the disabled list.
Despite scare, Dodgers like Puig's all-out style
DENVER -- The Dodgers' lineup was posted 90 minutes later than usual Thursday, the time it took for Yasiel Puig to be cleared to be in it.
Puig suffered a bruised left hip and thigh slamming into the right-field fence Wednesday night while catching a drive from Colorado's Nolan Arenado and came out of the game an inning later.
Manager Don Mattingly was in no hurry to fill out a lineup without the .440 hitter, so he waited for trainers to put Puig through some agility drills. Mattingly got the green light and put Puig in his usual No. 2 hole and right field.
Mattingly said he expects Puig to continue getting hurt as long as he continues his wild approach to the game, which nobody is trying to change.
"[Adviser Pat] Corrales told me [before his callup] that the guy is going to get hurt, he plays so hard," Mattingly said. "I anticipate some of that stuff."
Mattingly said he found no fault with Puig's play, even though it was the third time he's hit a wall hard in his month-long big league career.
"There's a difference between being aggressive and reckless, but defensively it's hard to hold back," he said. "If you have no chance and you run into a wall, that's silly to me. But Matt [Kemp] ran into a wall here and had surgery, others run into walks and nothing happens."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.