Carl Crawford begins to throw
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers got an update on the health of left fielder Carl Crawford on Tuesday that indicates he has begun a throwing program, making it more likely he'll be ready by Opening Day.
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Crawford underwent reconstructive surgery on his left elbow in August, about a week before the Boston Red Sox traded him to the Dodgers in a blockbuster nine-player deal. He has been rehabilitating this winter near his home in Houston.
Appearing on 710 ESPNLA Tuesday, Dodgers president Stan Kasten said he had just gotten a positive medical report, including video, and that the four-time All-Star has lost 10 pounds since last season and has started to throw.
"At no time has he felt he wouldn't be ready for Opening Day," Kasten said. "That's exactly how we feel."
Crawford's return to health could give the Dodgers a formidable outfield, though center fielder Matt Kemp also is coming off surgery. Kemp underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in October and has only begun taking batting practice in the past two weeks. The Dodgers expect Kemp to be ready by April 1, when the Dodgers will host San Francisco to open the season.
The Dodgers took on more than $250 million in the deal with Boston, acquiring Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto in exchange for first baseman James Loney and four prospects. L.A. has since spent more than $230 million acquiring free-agent pitchers Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon League and J.P. Howell.