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Crawford's presence at the top of the lineup has been missed.
According to ManGamesLost.com, the Dodgers (940) trail only the Cincinnati Reds (954) and the Padres (962) in man games lost to injury this year, through July 1. Only five MLB teams have lost more than 900 man games due to injury, with a 70-game gap between the fifth-place team (the Pittsburgh Pirates at 932) and the sixth-place team (the Diamondbacks at 865).
While the number alone is substantial, it holds greater meaning when you consider the caliber of players the Dodgers have had to place on the disabled list.
Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly have all missed significant time with an assortment of injuries this season.
Beckett and Billingsley both suffered season-ending injuries, crippling a rotation that was expected to be at least seven deep entering 2013. Lilly's availability has been spotty at best, and Capuano has struggled with consistency all year.
As devastating as the pitching losses have been, though, the offense has easily suffered the most. The Dodgers have not been able to have their expected core of Kemp, Crawford, Ramirez, Gonzalez and Andre Ethier in the lineup together at all this season.
The injuries to Crawford and Kemp in particular have allowed for the emergence of rookie sensation Yasiel Puig. His presence, along with Kemp and Ramirez returning to the lineup, is largely responsible for the Dodgers' resurgence.
But I'm sure that manager Don Mattingly can't wait to add Crawford back into the mix, making a now-potent offense even more dangerous. Crawford is expected to join the Dodgers in San Francisco Friday night and should be back in the starting lineup by the end of the weekend.