By Jon Weisman
Carl Crawford has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back tightness, and the Dodgers have recalled Micah Johnson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
As Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported Friday, Crawford has been dealing with the back issue since the middle of Spring Training.
Crawford, who has missed at least a month a season with an injury for each of the last five years, said he has had occasional lower-back issues in the past that would “flare up and cool down.” He said he is particularly puzzled because he worked over the winter and spring specifically in an attempt to avoid injuries.
“It seems like the opposite happened,” he said. “I feel terrible about that. I really tried hard to maintain my strength in the core and back and I’m still having issues.”
Crawford was 3 for 11 with two RBI in the young 2016 season, playing 17 innings in three games in left field.
Johnson is a second baseman, but he started in left field Friday with Oklahoma City for the first time in his pro career. He was 3 for 9 in Triple-A in two games, after OPSing .841 in 2015 with 28 steals in 35 attempts.
Last year, Johnson also made his big-league debut with the White Sox and had a .306 on-base percentage in 114 plate appearances.
Crawford is the 11th Dodger on the disabled list, though Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick could be activated as soon as Tuesday. Grandal hit a game-tying, ninth-inning home run Friday for Oklahoma City and also walked twice on a night in which he also caught eight innings. Kendrick went 1 for 3 with a double in his rehab game with Rancho Cucamonga, playing five innings at third base.
But more potential trouble brewed for the Dodgers during Saturday’s game, after Scott Van Slyke departed in the third inning with lower back tightness.
Separately, Oklahoma City announced today that Carlos Frias was going on its disabled list with an oblique injury, the same issue that has sidelined Mike Bolsinger.