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Bobby Valentine expects Carl Crawford to miss “a few weeks” of the season

Feb 15, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

crawford reuters Reuters

Carl Crawford hasn’t officially been ruled out for Opening Day following what was said to be minor left wrist surgery last month, but manager Bobby Valentine said today that he expects the left fielder to miss “a few weeks” of the regular season.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that “Crawford, at this point, can do everything but hit.”

While that sounds like a cruel joke about his performance at the plate last season, it actually means he has no restrictions in terms of running or other early spring workouts.

By signing Cody Ross the Red Sox added some veteran outfield depth in case Crawford misses extended action and right now Ross, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Ryan Sweeney look likely to be the Opening Day outfield.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I can see Crawford having a bounceback year. No matter what he or anyone else says, going from a team that plays in front of sparse crowds even in the playoffs to one where the stands are packed and everything you do is scrutinized definitely had an effect on him. He’s always been a true competitor and he was probably more disappointed with he last season than anyone. He’s gonna do everything in his power to make sure last year’s debacle doesn’t happen again.

    • bigharold - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      “..going from a team that plays in front of sparse crowds even in the playoffs to one where the stands are packed and everything you do is scrutinized definitely had an effect on him.”

      I don’t think that reasoning holds up. He played against the Yankees and RS enough to understand what he’s now dealing with. He was in the WS and understands the spot light. If anything, I think the pressure he put on himself to live up to the great big contract he landed had more to do with it. The question then becomes; after a disappointing first season will he press even more, .. and will that be to the detriment or benefit of his offensive production? Moreover, how much will the wrist injury make matters worse? Ortiz had a similar injury and it seemed to affect him the entire next season so I wouldn’t be surprised if Crawford felt the effects for the entire season.

      I can’t say that Crawford is going to have a bounce back year because I think the wrist will be a factor. But, at the same time he’s not a bust either, .. at least certainly not yet. One could easily point out the obvious mitigating factors. The real issue, to me at least, is that he got that great big contract now everybody, including Crawford, has great big expectations to go along with it. In that regard, in terms of the higher expectation, I don’t think Crawford will ever live up to the contract he got. I think the RS overpaid for him. That being said, he still can be the Carl Crawford.

      So I think he can bounce back, .. maybe even this season. The nature and extent of his wrist injury will play an important role. As will the Nation. If he gets off to a bad start as a result if the wrist, or for any other reason, and the Nation gives up on him they could make it intolerable. The specter of getting booed regularly won’t help. What I am sure that Crawford didn’t all the sudden forget how to hit or play defense. I would think anything better than last year should be viewed upon as a success but I doubt that he’ll have career numbers let alone improve on them.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        @bigharold: true, that big contract definitely ramped up the scrutiny of every swing he took. To get the best players you need to overpay that’s just the nature of free agency. Having to live up to a contract any realist wouldn’t possibly expect you to but every baseball fan does has to be tough. Almost unfair. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and write last season off as a transition that just went as poorly as it possibly could have.

      • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM

        Insightful analysis. How about using a twitter length post(144 characters) next time? People don’t War and Peace.

    • 24missed - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Exactly. On top of everything that you noted, The Rays had that hunger to win. The Rays competed as a team. If I were Carl Crawford, I’d be shocked, coming to the RS, watching the entitled players put themselves above the team.

  2. Jack Marshall - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    The shocking thing is that Ross, Ellsbury and Sweeney would almost have to be better than Carl, Ellsbury and JD Drew last season. The folks saying that the Red Sox line-up will be weaker are going on names, not reality.

    • hackerjay - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Not necessarily. Elsbury played out of his mind last year. In his other two full seasons he had a slash line of .291/.346/.405 with 8 and 9 homers. Last year his line was .321/.376/.552 with 32 homers. If 2008/2009 Esbury is the “real” Elsbury and last year was just a one year fluke, then even with the slight improvements in left and right, the outfield as a whole might end up less productive.

      My guess though is that Elsbury settles in somewhere inbetween last year and his previous years, Crawford has a bit of a bounce back, and right field is a big improvement over Drew, all adding up to a better outfield, but still not a top ten outfield.

  3. stex52 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    I hope for a bounce back. The Sox overpaid for him, but that’s not his fault, that’s a good agent. I’d like him to succeed because he really wants to prove he can.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    He should have just chilled out, ate chicken, drank beer, and played video games with the rest of the guys instead of stressing himself out at the plate.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Probably. It eemed to work for everyone else for most of the season.

  5. buffalomafia - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Good centerfielder but always hurt!

    • foreverchipper10 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      Sigh. You know he plays left field right?

      • buddaley - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        And that in the past 9 years he has had over 600 PAs 7 times and over 150 games played 6 times. In the other 2 (re: PAs), he had 480 and 538 PAs.

        It is true that there had been some concern about the effect of playing on turf on his legs, but that did not keep him from being a very durable player.

  6. poprox13 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Thats good news seeing how he missed all of last season.

  7. pisano - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    After his performance last year they won’t realize he isn’t in the line-up.

  8. sabatimus - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I’m wondering if Crawford discovered that he really doesn’t LIKE playing in Boston. This year will be a good litmus test for that.

  9. randygnyc - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Crawford is in the wrong position. The red sox have never had a left handed left fielder before, for a reason. They’ve built exact replicas of the green monster at their new ST complex and also on a practice field so he can really get acclimated. Now that’s not gonna help. I thought it was important for him to get off to a fast start this year. Now, that’s not gonna happen either.

  10. pisano - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    The guy was overrated and way overpaid, thanks to Theo.

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    ever notice that free agents who leave tampa never seem to be what they once were? you can add this guy to that list

  12. weaselpuppy - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Every LF/CF with 2 50 SB seasons that hit for some level of power in the last 40 years not named Rickey Henderson has become a 2 WAR schmuck between ages 28 and 32….and a 130 game a year guy at that. Good luck with that awesomely terrible contract….

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