LOS ANGELES — Injury-prone left fielder Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday by the Los Angeles Dodgers after an MRI revealed a tear in his right oblique.
Crawford was injured on a swing that produced his first triple of the season Monday night against San Francisco. He was pulled for a pinch hitter his next time up.
"I knew I did something to it, but I didn't know quite what was going on," Crawford said Tuesday after receiving a cortisone injection. "I thought it was just a pulled muscle. But when I got the MRI, it showed I tore it pretty good. Right now I can't even cough or sneeze without it hurting. So until I can without having pain, that's when I can start doing other stuff."
The Dodgers recalled infielder-outfielder Kike Hernandez from Triple-A Oklahoma City to fill the roster spot.
This is Crawford's seventh stint on the DL in 14 major league seasons, and fourth since joining the Dodgers in August 2012 as part of a blockbuster trade with the Red Sox that also brought first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Josh Beckett to Los Angeles.
Crawford was placed on Boston's disabled list five days before the deal and missed the rest of that season after undergoing left elbow surgery. The four-time All-Star, who leads all active players with 121 triples and 470 stolen bases, also sat out more than a month in 2013 with a left hamstring strain, and missed six weeks last season because of a sprained left ankle.
"I know it sounds like a broken record that I'm going back to the DL, but there's no way I could have avoided it," Crawford said. "I was hoping not to get hurt again this year, and I had plans to play the full season. So to have to go back to the DL is frustrating. Misfortune is something that keeps happening to me. But I'm just going to work hard, get strong again and try to help the team as much as possible when I get back."
Crawford, who turns 34 on Aug. 5, is making in excess of $21.3 million this season — and has more than two years left on a contract that will pay him another $43.46 million. He is batting .245 this season with one homer and three RBIs in 15 games.
"Usually there's not a whole lot you can do with that, so there's no trying to play through those," manager Don Mattingly said. "I've had a couple of obliques. Always less than a month. Never two months. That would be a lot, unless he just totally blew this thing up.
"I have no idea of the exact time he would start going back on rehab games, but he's going to end up needing some at-bats at some point," Mattingly added. "First, he has to be able to cough without feeling anything. We have to get past these first few days and get him to the point where he can start to do a little something. It takes a little while before you can do anything."
The Dodgers have seven players on the disabled list, including starting pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu. McCarthy was shut down for the rest of the season Monday because of a torn ligament in his right elbow. Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen and fellow pitchers Brandon League, Chris Withrow and Brandon Beachy also are on the DL.
"Everybody's got injury issues, for the most part. If they don't have 'em now they're going to have them," Mattingly said. "We've had a little run of DL here, but we still like our club and the guys we're going to be able to put out there. We still feel like we're going to be able to score and win games."
Hernandez was one of the last cuts at the end of spring training after hitting six home runs with 12 RBIs and a .267 batting average in the Cactus League. He was acquired in a seven-player trade with Miami in December that sent All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon and pitcher Dan Haren to the Marlins.
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