Mattingly: Crawford has to 'earn' way back

Mattingly: Crawford has to 'earn' way back

CHICAGO -- Andre Ethier has played well enough filling in that Carl Crawford will need to "earn his way" back into playing time when he returns from injury next month, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Monday.

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Crawford is on the 60-day disabled list due to a torn oblique muscle suffered April 27. With outfielder Yasiel Puig also out, Ethier was given unexpected playing time and responded by hitting .275 with nine homers and 27 RBIs entering play Monday vs. the Cubs.

That's good enough for Mattingly to say, "Andre's kind of taken that spot, to be honest with you."

Mattingly said Crawford is about 10 days away from being game-ready, but then would need a significant number of games on a Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the Dodgers.

Crawford was hitting .245 with one homer and three RBIs in 15 games when he was injured.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.