Results tagged ‘ Carl Crawford ’

Winter of ’10-11 about to be undone

If the Red Sox-Dodgers blockbuster trade clears the final hurdles and gets consummated, it will effectively eliminate one of the most dramatic 72-hour periods in team history.

Remember all that buzz at the Winter Meetings in Dallas in December of 2010? On the eve of the Meetings, then-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein finally acquired his long sought-after prize — slugger Adrian Gonzalez — in a blockbuster with the Padres. And just three days later, Epstein was at it again, striking a seven-year, $142-million deal with free agent Carl Crawford.

One epic September collapse of 2011 and highly disappointing 2012 season later, and it appears Gonzalez and Crawford will again be linked together — this time in a trade that sends them to Los Angeles, along with underachieving righty Josh Beckett.

Though Gonzalez was largely the hitter the Red Sox expected him to be (.321, 42 homers, 203 RBIs, .895 OPS in 1,114 at-bats), he didn’t always seem thrilled with the attention that came with playing in this market.

Ditto for Crawford, who was often surprised to be swarmed by media members, whether it was for an injury update or something else newsworthy.

As for Beckett — who will also be in the deal assuming he doesn’t exercise his 10-5 rights –  I think it had become pretty obvious that his time had run its course here in recent weeks and months.

The Red Sox will be able to re-allocate the money they would have paid those three players next year — which would have been well in excess of $200 million — and have a highly interesting offseason.

Covering the team this season, it seems that the baggage that came with last year’s collapse never really went away. So if this trade does go down, perhaps there will be a cleansing of sorts.

 

Monday meeting should determine Crawford’s fate

The Red Sox will have a summit meeting of sorts on Monday to determine whether Carl Crawford should continue to play, or undergo Tommy John Surgery to repair the UCL injury he’s been playing with in his left elbow.

“Ben and I just talked about it and you know, when he can’t play, he tells me he can’t play and I haven’t heard that today,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “Tomorrow, we have an off-day and we’ll take that time to talk with Carl and the doctors and kind of get to the bottom of this entire situation.”

Cherington: Crawford surgery not inevitable yet

Though it has been widely assumed that Carl Crawford will undergo Tommy John Surgery for his left elbow, perhaps even before the end of the season, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that nothing has been decided.

Cherington spoke to reporters shortly after Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted, according to a source, that Crawford will ask to undergo surgery next week.

“He hasn’t asked about that,” Cherington said. “Carl’s playing through an elbow injury. He’s been trying to help the team win. It’s a situation we’re monitoring. We’ve been in close contact with him. We’ll continue to talk to him and determine a course that’s best for him and the team. There’s nothing more than that right now.”

While Crawford has been one of Boston’s best hitters in recent days, Cherington was asked if the injury has worsened since the left fielder came off the disabled list.

“I’m not going to get into detail on the nature of the injury,” Cherington said. “He’s got an injury that he’s been playing through, and playing well and, you know, gutting it out to help the team. Again, we’re monitoring it, we’re keeping in touch with him and seeing how he’s doing with it. We’ll continue to do that and focus on what’s best for him and the team.”

Cherington also downplayed the notion that the timing of surgery for Crawford would be based on where the Red Sox are in the standings.

“It’s going to be focused on him, mostly,” Cherington said. “We’re not going to ask a player to go out there and they’re having symptoms that don’t allow them to be who they want to be on the field. That’s not fair. It’s going to be a lot more about Carl and less about where the team is.”

Isn’t surgery for Crawford inevitable at this point?

“Well, it’s not inevitable until it happens,” Cherington said. “We’ve felt earlier this summer that it was something we had a chance to manage conservatively and Carl was on board for that. As I said, we’ll continue to monitor it and if it gets to the point where it’s not something he feels he can play with safely, then we’ll consider the next step. We haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

A pitcher is usually out a minimum of 11 to 12 calendar months following Tommy John. How about an outfielder?

“It’s shorter. It’s shorter, I’ve heard, anywhere from seven to nine months. It’s case by case and depends on the individual,” Cherington said.

Crawford is in manager Bobby Valentine’s lineup today against the Yankees, batting second and playing left field.

Crawford sits, Valentine explains, Tito reunites

It was a bizarre Saturday afternoon in the Red Sox clubhouse. ESPN color commentator Terry Francona held court with roughly a half dozen Red Sox players near Dustin Pedroia’s locker. As Francona initially sat down with just Cody Ross, Pedroia sidled up to him. Next thing you know, there were six or seven players (from Clay Buchholz to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Nick Punto to David Ortiz) having a grand old time with Francona, which presented a semi-awkward scene for current Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. By the way, Valentine didn’t see the scene as it was happening, but was told about it after the fact.

But before you know it, things got even stranger. When asked why Carl Crawford wasn’t in the lineup on Saturday, Valentine said it was part of a four-day plan mandated by the training staff. Crawford shouldn’t play more than four days, or games, in a row. Of course, Valentine broke his own rule when Crawford initially came back, playing him six days in a row.

Valentine was candid about the fact he blew off this plan earlier this month, when he wound up playing Crawford six days in a row when he came off the disabled list.

“Actually, I did a manager no-no thing and went against what I was told to do. Never to be done again,” Valentine said. “They told me before that game that he wasn’t playing, and I kind of did the old veto power. ‘Who says he’s not playing?’ And I played him.”

Crawford has a strained UCL in his left elbow and is all but certain to undergo Tommy John ligament transfer surgery before the start of the 2013 season.

The Red Sox actually had a day off on Thursday, which meant Valentine had the leeway to play him on Saturday. But the Red Sox are facing three straight righties beginning on Sunday, so Valentine felt it would be more beneficial to have him in the lineup for those games.

“My understanding is that I got today off and I know the medical people want me to get rest,” Crawford said. “I’m not really sure what’s the program on it. I guess that’s the way it is right now. I came here ready to play, like I always do. I found out this morning I wasn’t playing. That’s it, pretty much. Could I play? Yeah, I could play today. Like I say, they’re following that method right there. I’m just going along with the way things are.”

It is a unique situation for everyone involved – particularly Valentine.

“I’d like to have Carl every day,” said Valentine. “I’d like to have all my good players every day, but I understand the situation better now than I did then.”

Crawford was on the bench Saturday, despite his .319 career average against CC Sabathia.

Game 8 Grapefruit League: Red Sox 5, Marlins 3

FORT MYERS, Fla. –- Josh Beckett and Andrew Bailey both recovered nicely from shaky beginnings. Pedro Ciriaco again proved why he might be a utilityman the Red Sox will be able to use at some point during 2012. And Mike Aviles is hitting like a man determined to be the Opening Day shortstop.

What went right: Aviles hit the ball with authority twice, clubbing a double and a triple. Ciriaco belted a walkoff two-run homer and made a nice relay throw to nail a runner at the plate. Beckett hit two batters in the first, but settled down to pitch four solid innings. David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia impressed manager Bobby Valentine by hustling from first to third on hits.

What went wrong: Outfielder Ryan Sweeney left the game after two innings with a nagging left quad. Bailey, making his first appearance as Boston’s closer, gave up hits to the first three batters he faced. At least he minimized the damage, giving up only one run.

What they said: “He’s got big league stuff. He’s an All Star. We just want him to break camp healthy.” – Saltalamacchia on Bailey.

What’s next: Fifth-starter candidate Felix Doubront will get the ball in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest airing live on MLB.TV against the Yankees. The Sox regulars scheduled to make the trip are Mike Aviles, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Righty Vicente Padilla, who is also vying for a rotation job, is slated to pitch in relief. Ivan Nova will get the nod starting nod for New York.

Injury update: “He’s going to throw 90 feet today with the trainer. He’s ready to progress here mid-week with some monitored swings.” – Valentine on left fielder Carl Crawford.

Game 2 Grapefruit League: Red Sox 10, Twins 2

FORT MYERS, Fla. –- Break up the Red Sox. They’re off to a 2-0 start in Grapefruit League action, both wins coming against the Twins. All kidding aside, there were a lot of encouraging developments on Monday night.

What went right: Clay Buchholz pitched in a game for the first time since June 16 of last season, and looked healthy in doing so. The righty pitched two shutout innings. Vicente Padilla, trying to nail down a rotation spot, also looked good, wiggling out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam and firing two scoreless innings. Jose Iglesias dropped down a bunt single, stole a base and started a nifty 6-4-3 double play.

What went wrong: Carl Crawford learned earlier in the day that his goal of playing on Opening Day is probably over. The left fielder will curtail hitting and throwing activities for five to seven days as he bounces back from left wrist surgery.

What they said: “I liked seeing him in the competitive mode that he was in tonight. He’s a fierce competitor. His pitches were good. He didn’t pitch that well with them. But I liked what we saw. I think he’s going to be a welcomed addition to this staff.” – Bobby Valentine on Buchholz.

What’s next: Daniel Bard, who is transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation, gets his first start of Spring Training in Tuesday’s 1:35 p.m. ET contest against the Orioles. Alfredo Aceves, also vying for a rotation spot, will work out of the bullpen. So, too, will highly touted prospect Alex Wilson. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez should be back in the lineup after getting the night off on Monday.

Injury update: Closer Andrew Bailey could pitch in a game later this week, which would mark his first appearance in a Boston uniform. Bailey had been slowed by a mild lat strain.

Crawford on Opening Day? ‘Not realistic’

The Red Sox will open their season on April 5 in Detroit, but you can be nearly certain that Carl Crawford will start his season a bit later.

After a Monday consultation with Dr. Donald Sheridan — the same doctor who performed his wrist surgery in January — Crawford was told not to hit or throw for five to seven days.

“The Opening Day thing is probably not realistic,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “It might be. But probably not.”

Cody Ross will probably start in left on Opening Day, and hold down the fort until Crawford returns, which you would think will still be at some point in April.

Crawford speaks

An upbeat Carl Crawford arrived early to Spring Training this year, determined to put last year behind him. He also responded to comments made by John Henry in the offseason that the owner was against the $142-million signing that brought Crawford to Boston.

“Oh, I can’t do nothing about what he said. I can just go out and play. It was unfortunate that he feels that way but there’s nothing to say to him but just go out and play. Oh, I wasn’t happy about it. I was a little surprised to hear the comments. But like I said, it was unfortunate he feels that way. I wish that those words hadn’t came out.”

But they did, so now all Crawford can do is have a better season.

“Last year was probably one of the toughest things I’ve had to go through. For whatever reason it was, I struggled, and it was really hard to deal with. I had a lot of time to think about it and make corrections, and I think things will be better,” Crawford said.

Crawford said he is making a nice recovery from wrist surgery and still holds out hope he can be ready for Opening Day.

Road trip shifts to Cleveland with new lineup

Here we are in Cleveland, where the Red Sox, after a month and a half in Fort Myers and then a weekend in Texas, are now faced with cold weather for the first time.

Josh Beckett is on the mound, taking the ball at this field for the first time since he saved a championship season for the Red Sox in Game 5 of the 2007 ALCS.

At gametime, it is expected to be 42 degrees, but weather.com says that it will “feel like 35″.

At any rate, manager Terry Francona has made another adjustment to the lineup.

Carl Crawford will bat second and Dustin Pedroia moves to the three-hole.

Here is the new entire alignment:

Ellsbury CF

Crawford LF

Pedroia 2B

Gonzalez 1B

Youkilis 3B

Ortiz DH

Drew RF

Saltalamacchia C

Scutaro SS

Beckett SP

Crawford-Ellsbury will be on display Monday

The first glimpse of Carl Crawford playing a baseball game in a Red Sox uniform will come Monday afternoon, when the $142 million left fielder makes his exhibition debut. He will be joined in the outfield by Jacoby Ellsbury, as the Red Sox can show off their new speed tandem. J.D. Drew will also play his first game of the spring, starting in right.

While Ellsbury and Crawford will get a lot of notice for their stolen-base totals, it should be just as enjoyable watching them play side-by-side in the outfield.

Manager Terry Francona doesn’t think it’s necessary to go out of his way to pair them up during exhibition games.

“They’re out there every day practicing,” Francona said. “Carl is going to catch what he can get. The whole idea is to cover as much outfield as you can so I don’t think you play somebody out of alignment but we will certainly remember that when we’re setting guys, because they’re so fast, might be able to move over a few more feet.”

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