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Carl Crawford Is Off To A Surprisingly Hot Start As The Dodgers Leadoff Guy

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Tuesday Apr.30/2013

Outfielder Carl Crawford has been red hot offensively hitting .307 with team leading 4 HRs and 6 RBIs. He has been a huge surprise in his comeback season.

Outfielder Carl Crawford has been red hot offensively hitting .307 with team leading 4 HRs and 6 RBI. He has been a huge surprise in his comeback season.  The former Rays and Red Sox player is hitting far above his Career 3 Slash Line of .293/.333/.706 – by posting a line of .308/.388/906 to date.  More importantly than any other statistic – Crawford has crossed home plate 20 times in 25 Games Played in 2013.  This would put him on pace for about 130 Runs this campaign.  This is lieu of Matt Kemp’s slow start and Hanley Ramirez not being in the lineup at all.

By Enrique Rivera (Dodgers Correspondent)

When the Dodgers acquired Outfielder Carl Crawford last year, they definitely didn’t know what they were getting, it was a pretty much a gamble they were able to afford. With the Dodgers’ new ownership willing to spend the big bucks on big players, this trade seemed like the ideal move to do for General Manager Ned Colleti. 

Crawford wasn’t able to perform at all right away after he got traded to the Dodgers as he was rehabbing from his Tommy John Surgery but he was able to get healthy just in time for Opening Day. He has been healthy ever since.

Dodgers’ skipper Don Mattingly right away decided to make Crawford the leadoff hitter since Opening Day and has not disappointed. Through April 29th, 2013, Crawford is hitting .307 with OBP. of .390 (obviously doing his job as Leadoff hitter) with 4 SB and has been caught twice. He has also walked nine times but perhaps the most impressive stat is his team leading 4 HRs.

Slow motion video of Carl Crawford’s Home Run swing

The clutch duties hasn't been solely relying on Kemp, but Adrian Gonzalez as well. He's the one player who has actually found numerous success in clutch situations. He is batting .337 with 2 HRs and 17 RBI.  Gonzalez will probably not approach his HR days from a few years ago - however he is a great gap hitter - and should be counted on for a about 60 - 70 Extra Base Hits this year.

The clutch duties hasn’t been solely relying on Kemp, but Adrian Gonzalez as well. He’s the one player who has actually found numerous success in clutch situations. He is batting .337 with 2 HRs and 17 RBI. Gonzalez will probably not approach his HR days from a few years ago – however he is a great gap hitter – and should be counted on for a about 60 – 70 Extra Base Hits this year.

On Sunday’s game against the Brewers, Crawford went deep twice against Right Hander Kyle Lohse – runs that proved to be enough for the 2-0 victory. Left-handed Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw helped by pitching 8 Shutout Innings against the Brew Crew and with closer Brandon League closing out the game successfully.

With Matt Kemp‘s early struggles, the Dodgers really needed somebody to come up with clutch hits. The problem at the time, was that the guy who has been getting hits was the Leadoff man so there wasn’t really anyone on base when he got those hits. Crawford’s 6 RBI is a prime example of that issue.

Kemp has been hitting pretty well lately working his Batting Average up to .261 with Home Runs. He’s slowly getting hot and it could be just a matter of time until he starts hitting homers regularly.

Along with his 17 RBI, Gonzalez also has 7 doubles already to his credit. The Red Sox – Dodgers swap in 2012 is shaping up to be a great trade for the Dodgers for those two main reasons at the moment, Crawford and Gonzalez.

Another player who has surprisingly helped the Dodgers’ offense is Second Baseman Mark Ellis. Ellis is hitting .342 with 2 HRs (same as Gonzalez) and 11 RBI.  His totals also include a 2 HR game against the New York Mets – in which he also record his 100th Career dinger. Watch out, Barry Bonds!

How about we keep the surprises going? This next surprise has something to with Third Baseman and fan least favorite – Juan Uribe. Uribe is hitting just .214 but it is better than his .191 average from last year. He also has 2 HRs, which is more than Matt Kemp at the moment. 

The Dodgers began the season with 7 men able to be in the starting Rotation but not so great events has turned it into a four-man rotation and a desperate move to call up a rookie pitcher. 

First, the Dodgers traded Aaron Harang to Colorado. Then, Zack Greinke got hurt after his collision with Padres’ Carlos Quentin, then Chris Capuano got hurt and forced into the DL. 

That left Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu and recently activated Ted Lilly for the top 4 in the Starting Rotation. That forced the call-up of young Matt Magill who was drafted by the Dodgers in 2008 in the 31st round.

Magill had an impressive debut when he pitched against the Brewers on Saturday April 27. He pitched 6.2 Innings giving up 2 Earned Runs on 4 hits, giving out two walks and he fanned 7 hitters.

He ended up getting a no decision when the Dodgers’ Bullpen let the game get away. 

Brandon League has taking care of the closing duties as he has already picking up 8 Saves out of 9 opportunities. He’s also carrying a steadily improving 4.09 ERA. 

If I write a “surprises” type article next month, the next surprises should be something Magill picking up three-four straight wins, Crawford continues his red hot hitting, Hanley Ramirez hitting red hot coming off from the DL. There are many possibilities, but who can actually come through? Tune in next month.

Okay, how about one last final surprise sort of. Sure, it’s early in the season and not many players/teams “focus on the standings” but currently neither the Dodgers or the Giants are leading the division. The division leaders are actually the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies as they’re tied in first place. 

Luckily for the Dodgers, there’s still a lot of baseball left.

The Dodgers are currently 12-13 and fourth in the N.L. West. The red hot players are Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis and Clayton Kershaw. Some cold players are Luiz Cruz, Skip Schumaker and Josh Beckett.

The Dodgers are currently 12-13 and fourth in the N.L. West. The red hot players are Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis and Clayton Kershaw. Some cold players are Luiz Cruz, Skip Schumaker and Josh Beckett.  The team need to put together a solid few weeks of play to jump back into the top of the Standings.  Until last nights 12 – 2 drubbing at Dodger Stadium by the hands of the Rockies, the club had fared much better over the last week.

***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***

Today’s feature was prepared by our Dodgers Correspondent Enrique Rivera. Enrique was born in Los Angeles and raised in Compton, CA. He has  been a Dodger fan since he was introduced to the greatest sport of all time.

‘Eriq’ also has written a couple of baseball stories for another website here . Eriq has also talked Dodger baseball on a college radio show called LA Sports Weekly.

His second favorite thing in the world is rock and roll – and he owns his own website called xstaticradio.com as well as hosts/produces his own college radio show called X-Static Radio Live.   You can also follow Enrique on Twitter 

enrique rivera

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Posted on April 30, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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