- Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Carl Crawford, LF: All it took was one swing, or at least that’s how it looks. Crawford was in the worst slump of his career -- 4-for-45 -- before his pinch-hit, game-winning home run in Miami on Saturday. Now, he’s rolling, going 10 for his past 17 to boost his average all the way from .185 to .255 in just four starts. The way things were going, Crawford might have found his position slipping in the Dodgers’ four-outfielder logjam, but now, he’s put the pressure on Andre Ethier to stay in the rotation.
Yasiel Puig, RF: Pitchers couldn’t get Puig out, but an outfield wall in Miami finally did the trick. Puig slammed into it futilely trying to prevent the winning run from scoring Sunday, and it cost him two games as the Dodgers monitored him for signs of a concussion. It didn’t seem to matter, as Puig lined an RBI single in his first game back. He’s 13 for his past 30 (.433), and, as long as he’s this hot, he’ll stay in the lineup, health permitting.
Brandon League, RHP: He might be the least-popular Dodger, with boos raining down every time he jogs out of the bullpen door, but at some point, the fans’ perception needs to catch up with what’s happening on the field. League, though he has mostly pitched in low-leverage situations, has become one of the most bankable commodities in relief. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past 13 innings, posting a 0.77 WHIP and holding opposing hitters to a .190 average.
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B: He has been the steadiest producer in the lineup and one of the most powerful hitters in the National League so far, but manager Don Mattingly detected a little fatigue when he gave him the day off Tuesday. The numbers detected some, too, as Gonzalez was zero for his past 15 before that game. Maybe it helped -- he came up with an RBI single off Stephen Strasburg in his first at-bat Wednesday.
Brian Wilson, RHP: The Beard, who was such a huge part of the Dodgers’ bullpen late last season, is showing no signs of earning back his setup role. Interestingly, that means the Dodgers could be stuck with him next season, as he holds an $8 million player option. Since April 24, Wilson has thrown just five innings and has a 14.40 ERA. Opponents are batting .318 against him with a .591 slugging percentage. Most worrisome, they have a 33 percent line-drive rate against Wilson, who isn’t fooling anybody.
Dee Gordon, 2B vs. lefties: Gordon has been the biggest pleasant surprise of the season. He leads the majors with 20 stolen bases, is getting on base as the leadoff hitter and has been one of the Dodgers' only reliable infielders. One problem: extreme splits. He is batting .192 against left-handed pitching. The fact Alex Guerrero is batting .328 at Triple-A Albuquerque makes you wonder if the Dodgers might some day revive a notion from spring training: A Gordon-Guerrero platoon at second.
RISING Carl Crawford, LF: All it took was one swing, or at least that’s how it looks. Crawford was in the worst slump of his career -- 4-for-45 -- before his pinch-hit, game-winning home run in Miami on Saturday.