Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/16/14
It's really tough for a player with five years and more than $100 million remaining on his contract to be labeled as an x-factor. But when that player is just two seasons removed from a seven win season and has amassed less than one win over the last two seasons...yeah, he's got a chance to make a bit of an impact going forward. My x-factor for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013 is Carl Crawford. Pop quiz time. Everyone knows that Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp were fixtures in the Dodgers' outfield in 2012. But who ranked third on the team in defensive innings in the outfield? You guessed it: Tony Gwynn Jr. Gwynn logged 578 innings in the outfield for the Dodgers last year, more than 100 more than trade deadline acquisition Shane Victorino. Gwynn, of course, had a .569 OPS for the Dodgers in 2012 and had negative value as his formerly elite defensive numbers dropped off. Past Gwynn and Victorino, the other two Dodgers to log at least 300 innings in the outfield were Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera. Really. Cumulatively in 2012, the Dodgers left field corps had a .674 OPS, ranking just behind the Astros for the 24th-best (worst?) mark in the league. Their six homers out of left field was the lowest total in baseball, with the Giants and Blue Jays a step above them with ten. That's not good, even if Crawford isn't an elite power hitter.  If Crawford is healthy and logs substantial playing time for the Dodgers in 2013, he'll be a vast improvement over the left fielders that the team trotted out in 2012. Right now, with Crawford's availability for Opening Day in question, Skip Schumaker is projected as the Dodgers' left fielder to start the year. You know, the same Skip Schumaker that has 23 career homers in 810 career games and has been worth 5.6 fWAR over his entire career. Jerry Hairston Jr or Alex Castellanos could also get playing time in left with Crawford out, but neither really is a long-term option due to age (Hairston) or a track record built upon brutalizing younger competition and taking advantage of hitters parks (Castellanos).  Say what you want (and justifiably so) about how much of an upgrade Adrian Gonzalez is over James Loney, but a healthy Crawford is an even bigger upgrade over the Dodgers' other options in left, and the crew they trotted out there last year (Victorino included). Dodgers on TOC End of Season Postmortem 2013 Season Preview You May Say I'm a Dreamer 2013 Burning Question This Is My Nightmare 2013 X-Factor [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.