SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford returned from the 15-day disabled list Friday and immediately suffered the consequences by being left out of the starting lineup for the series opener with the Giants.
He and fellow outfielders Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig met with manager Don Mattingly to learn that one of them will not be in the starting outfield each game.
"Nobody wants to be on the bench," said Crawford. "At the same time, we have four good outfielders and somebody is going to miss out and I understand that part of it. The competitive side, you always want to play every day. When the numbers say you get a day off, take it. Nothing you're going to cry about."
On the other hand, Crawford said irregular playing time has not been the norm when he's healthy.
"I've never been a platoon guy and I'm a little nervous about that," he said. "I've never done it before and I don't know what the results will be. I just have to stay fresh and ready. I don't think I'm a platoon player, but at this point I've got to do what I've got to do."
Crawford got into Friday's game in the third inning after Kemp grabbed his surgically repaired left shoulder during a second-inning at-bat. Kemp stayed in the game before Crawford pinch-hit for him in the third, then took over in left field with Ethier sliding over to center.
Crawford had been out since June 2 with a strained left hamstring. He completed a four-game Minor League rehab assignment Wednesday night at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Scott Van Slyke was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room on the roster.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.