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Crawford feels good after first batting practice


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carl Crawford took his first live batting practice session on Sunday and it must have been a big deal because it was observed by manager Don Mattingly, general manager Ned Colletti, president Stan Kasten and assorted other front-office execs.

Crawford has been hitting in the cage, but this was his first regular batting practice since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last August. His hitting group included Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier.

"I was really surprised," said Mattingly. "For the first time in open space, that's just a lot different, and I'm sure he doesn't feel good, but I thought he was good."

Actually, Crawford wasn't complaining.

"For the first day, didn't feel too bad," said the left fielder. "Maybe it was the group of hitters, but it went better than I expected. It feels normal hitting."

Throwing will be the final hurdle and Crawford remains on a conservative program designed to build arm strength.

"Still going slow there," he said. "I have good days and bad days throwing. That part is still a little shaky. But I'm throwing on my program every other day and make 20 throws on the days in between to stay loose."

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