Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crawford can't hit, can't catch a pop-up... and is making $21 million this year

One day later, I think the Red Sox are still laughing.  Now you know why they were so anxious to get rid of Carl Crawford.

A dropped fly ball by Crawford in the 10th inning led to the game-winning run for the Phillies, as they defeated the Dodgers 3-2.  That's two straight loses for the Dodgers, as they're 2-3 on their current 10-game homestand.

As if it's not already bad enough that Crawford couldn't catch a simple fly ball, he also went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in the leadoff spot, dropping his average to .217.

Want an even worse stat?  His OBP is an anemic .226.  He's been to the plate 61 times this season, and has taken ONE WALK.  You would think he'd accidentally have at least three or four, but I guess not.

Needless to say, Tuesday night was a night that Crawford will not soon forgot, and was also quite symbolic of just how far he's fallen from his superstar years with Tampa Bay.  From 2003-2010, he was as good an all-around player, if not the best, in baseball, doing everything from hit doubles and homers to steal bases.

Then came his disastrous stint in Boston that saw his numbers tank in 2011, and only appeared in 31 games the next year before shutting it down for Tommy John surgery.  That's when he was dealt to the Dodgers in the mega-deal with Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett, amongst others.

Last year did have some good moments, as he hit .310 in 10 playoff games, along with four home runs.  The hope was that with more time away from surgery, he'd get back to some form of his old self.

Um, no.

Look, is Crawford really this bad of a player now, someone who drops fly balls and hits near the Mendoza line?  Of course not.  But, it's hard to have much faith in a guy who just looks like he's trying to hold onto his glory days.  His bat doesn't have nearly the pop it once did, and his arm is so average (not that it ever was that great to begin with).

I'm not sure how much patience Don Mattingly is going to have with Crawford at this point.  Mattingly was clearly ticked off after the game at not only that error, but the Dodgers' sloppiness in general on defense.  It's just inexcusable for a Major League player to not make a play like that.  It's downright embarrassing, quite frankly.

The Dodgers outfielders aren't setting the world on fire, as the highest average among any of them is Scott Van Slyke at .273 in limited time.  Yasiel Puig is at .254, Andre Ethier .220, and Matt Kemp .196.  Yet, each of those guys bring something to the table that Crawford does not.  You know Puig and Kemp can bring the total package to the field, Van Slyke has a good amount of power, and Ethier is second on the team with 13 RBIs.  What can Crawford bring?  Maybe some gap power and speed, but those numbers are trending down.

Like it or not, the Dodgers are committed to him until 2018, when he finally becomes a free agent.  After this year, he'll be making about $21 per year the next three years.

All of that money for a guy who can't hit well anymore, can't throw, and now has difficulty catching pop-ups.  Ouch.

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