Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 3/21/13
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]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker