Whether you’re in the front office, on the coaching staff, on the same roster, or in the bleachers, there are three words you never want to hear associated with one of your team’s players:
Dr. James Andrews.
But that’s exactly what the Boston Red Sox and outfielder Carl Crawford are in store for, as Crawford will see the renowned surgeon about his injured left elbow, ESPNBoston.com reported Wednesday. The usual everyday left fielder experienced soreness while throwing in Ft. Myers during extended spring training. Surgery is not yet on the table, as this is more of a “fact-finding mission” according to Red Sox manager and wordsmith Bobby Valentine. General manager Ben Cherington added, “The elbow has improved, but (there’s) still some soreness, so he’s going to get a second opinion.”
This is not the only injury the Red Sox’ $142 million man has dealt with recently. After enduring arguably the worst season of his career (.255 batting average, 11 home runs, 18 stolen bases), Crawford missed much of spring training while recovering from wrist surgery and di not play in any exhibition games. His rehab allowed him to throw, but made it impossible for him to swing a bat. At first he seemed to be making good progress, and was able to fill in as the designated hitter in extended spring training games. The most optimistic reports said he could have returned before Jacoby Ellsbury returned from his separated shoulder.
Valentine echoed that optimistic speculation, going so far as to say, “I’ll bet if this was the seventh game of the World Series and he had to advance it in he could advance it in.”
But this isn’t the seventh game of the World Series, and the Red Sox are nowhere near that point, just 7-10 aftger a three-game sweep of the lowly Minnesota Twins. Crawford’s bat-swinging and ball-throwing issues have reversed, and this setback now puts even more pressure on Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney, and the newly acquired Marlon Byrd to produce in the outfield, both offensively and defensively.