Injury Roll Call: Crawford’s setback, Billingsley & Kemp feeling good, Gwynn hamstrung

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Carl Crawford took live batting practice against an actual pitcher for the first time since elbow surgery last August. However, yesterday he reported forearm soreness and was held out of batting practice and drills.

Crawford, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last Aug. 23, took batting practice against live pitchers on Monday, but hasn’t been able to do so in the last two days. On Thursday morning when hitting off the tee in the batting cage, Crawford felt tightness in his forearm, and was shut down.

I wouldn’t overreact to it, but forearm stiffness is usually indicative of elbow ligament problems, which does seem normal since he’s rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but it’s probably an indication that he’s moving a bit too quickly.

Update

Indeed, the problem was elbow related and it seems it was a more serious setback than they initially let on.

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Chad Billingsley and his balky right elbow made it through his first start of Spring Training without any complications.

“After the first couple of throws I’m like, ‘Yeah this is fun’,” Billingsley said.

“Normally when you sit for a long half-inning, your arm gets tight and your body starts tightening up. But I went out there and had no problem getting loose or anything, so that’s great.”

“As soon as I left (Arizona) in October, I felt I was ready to go,” he said.

The news is, of course, positive, but whether they want to admit it or not, his condition will be speculated on all year long unless he never falters in terms of both performance and health.

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Matt Kemp continues rehabbing and could see live game action sooner than later.

No official date has been set for Kemp’s Spring Training debut, but he’s taking batting practice without issue.

Kemp, who underwent right shoulder surgery in October, hit in the cages Wednesday morning and felt good enough to take on-field batting practice — off of Mattingly — later in the workout. Mattingly said Kemp was fine and his extension, even on full swings and misses, caused no pain.

Seems like he’ll be ready to go once the season starts.

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Tony Gwynn Jr. was sidelined with a sore left groin muscle and had to miss a few days of workouts. He later said he expects to be back today, which is a positive since he’s battling desperately for a roster spot.

Gwynn is the only potential bench player with significant center field experience in the majors, so this setback can only hurt him and his chances, especially if it lingers at all like his 2012 injury did.

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Luis Cruz missed a couple days of Spring Training action with flu-like symptoms.

Cruz was in urgent care most of Tuesday, where he received IV treatment. He has returned to the lineup and the issue isn’t a concern, unless he actually has the plague or something ridiculous.

Nothing to see here.

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Ted Lilly made his Spring Training debut Thursday after an off-season of recovery from shoulder surgery.

Lilly reported no setbacks as he worked his way back into shape.

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Matt Guerrier is healthy and ready to contribute to the pen following an injury-plagued 2012.

He opted to not have elbow surgery in the off-season, a la Billingsley, and instead received plasma-rich injections.

Guerrier’s curveball was especially sharp, a sure sign that, like Chad Billingsley, Guerrier has recovered from his injury because of platelet-rich plasma injections to avoid surgery.

“Curveballs hurt me last year when I threw them,” Guerrier said. “Today, it feels completely normal.”

“I was fairly optimistic after that,” he said. “Then once I started to throw in the offseason it felt completely different.”

Guerrier’s health may help us avoid Kevin Gregg, but Matt has never been anything more than a meh reliever, with just one season of an FIP below 3.9, and a K/9 mark that has never reached 7. The Dodgers don’t need to rely upon Guerrier to have a successful pen, but any avoidance of Gregg and the likes is a win, let’s be honest.

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Justin Sellers missed workouts because of an ingrown toenail, which he got removed, but he expects to be back today.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.

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