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09/28/08 1:21 PM ET

Crawford making his case for playoffs

Left fielder takes batting practice for second successive day

DETROIT -- Carl Crawford took batting practice Sunday and appears headed in the right direction to be on the Rays' roster for the playoffs.

"Everything was good, felt good," Crawford said. "Same as yesterday."

The Rays' everyday left fielder, who is trying to come back from a right hand injury in time for the first round of the playoffs, hit in the batting cage for the second consecutive day and looked like he was well on his way to being on the active roster for Tampa Bay's first playoff game Thursday.

Crawford will play in an instructional league game Monday at 1 p.m. ET at the team's Minor League complex in St. Petersburg.

"I'm going to go to the instructional league tomorrow, see how that goes," Crawford said. "I'll probably have five at-bats, something like that, do some situational stuff -- get on base, go to the outfield, play defense.

"I'm just happy to be back swinging a bat again. I need to get back to game speed. You know, I'm just going over there to see where I'm at. Right now, you can't really tell."

Rays manager Joe Maddon has conceded that Crawford looks good, but Maddon has not committed to having his everyday left fielder on his playoff roster.

"Again, I was watching him," Maddon said. "He looked good. We'll see. It's one of those things where we don't know the answer until we go ahead and do it. ... We're going to be seeing some good pitching. They're all ready to be pitching playoff baseball. He has not been playing. That would be something to think about. But what I'm seeing looks pretty good."

Crawford said he will plead his case to Maddon if necessary.

"[I will] try and convince him to let me play," Crawford said.

Until being activated prior to Friday night's game against the Tigers, Crawford had been on the disabled list since Aug. 10, recuperating from surgery to repair the subluxation of his right middle finger tendon. He was hitting .273 with 10 triples, eight home runs and 57 RBIs at the time of his injury. He had stolen 25 bases in 32 attempts.

The 27-year-old two-time All-Star is a career .293 hitter with 84 triples, 70 homers and 302 stolen bases in 6 1/2 seasons.

Crawford's injury was located at the base of the middle finger at the joint connecting the finger to the hand. The tendon used to straighten the finger came out of its groove, causing the finger to lock into position when he bent it downward. He had surgery on Aug. 14 to repair the problem.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.