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Carl Crawford is back in the Sox’ lineup tonight

Jul 16, 2012, 10:31 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox Photo Day Getty Images

Carl Crawford is set to make his 2012 debut tonight. He’ll be in the Sox’ lineup against the White Sox.  For his part, Bobby Valentine is keeping expectations low:

“I’m not expecting any immediate impact,” said Valentine. “I’m just expecting one of nine, a guy who can go out there and be a contributor. I’ve never been around Carl in a game situation and I hope that whatever he needs is provided him from his surroundings and I hope he’s healthy. I think if he’s healthy, he’ll do fine.”

Yeah, well, apart from needing Tommy John surgery I guess he’s healthy, but we shall see.

Seems like the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty telling for the Red Sox. For the first time they have an outfield that resembles that which the front office intended.  And despite all of the turmoil of the season thus far, they have managed to keep within striking distance.

  1. drewsylvania - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Who’s getting sent down/DFA’ed? Nava? Does he even have options left?

    • sabatimus - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      According to MLB.com, they may not have made a decision on that as of this blog writing:

      “The Red Sox did not officially activate Crawford after Sunday’s game, nor did they make a corresponding roster move…Valentine didn’t know where he would bat Crawford — he hadn’t thought about Monday’s lineup at all, he said.”

  2. mornelithe - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Well, I hope he’s able to get some play in this year before needing the surgery. Anyone know why you wouldn’t just bite the bullet and have him go through the surgery? Seems rather strange to send a player out there when you know they’re not 100%… Is it possible that they’re simply expecting him to develop an injury at some point, that will then require surgery…? Guess I’m just confused about that whole thing.

    Granted, he’s got a massive contract, and you’d like to get as much out of him as you can…I guess. But, it’s not like the Sox offense (or defense for that matter) is what’s been hurting them this year, sure there’ve been some times where the bats go silent, but that’s not nearly as much of a problem as their 1-3 starting pitchers.

    • gammagammahey - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Pujols played for years saying that he’d need to get Tommy John surgery done at some point. He ended up having a couple of less serious elbow surgeries and may never need to have TJ now. Obviously, throwing is a bit different for a 1B than an OF but the idea is that for a position player it’s not so severe as to greatly impact their play and either they can play through it and have offseason surgery or they’ll blow it out even worse and go down for the same amount of time as if you had the surgery now.

      • mornelithe - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        Ok that makes a bit more sense. Definitely confused me that he’d admit he’d probably need TJ surgery at some point…usually when someone says they need surgery it’s not an elective thing, it’s something that actually needs to be done. I guess this isn’t the case here, but we’ll see, as you said there’s a big difference between 1B and OF, so who knows.

        Either way, hopefully with Middlebrooks, Ellsbury, Ciriaco, and Ortiz doing well at the plate, it takes some pressure off of Crawford to immediately explode offensively. Give him and even Gonzo some time to get their power/timing back.

  3. cmcgly - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Crawford better make some noise, I was starting to grow fond of watching Nava/Ross/Sweeney/Kalish on an everyday basis

    • 18thstreet - Jul 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      I want to love Kalish, too. But I’m not going to miss him.

  4. gotampabay52 - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    If he needs surgery then get it done why risk it stupid boston

    • sabatimus - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Other than the last two words of your post, it’s a good point.

  5. hushbrother - Jul 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I wouldn’t expect a guy coming off a .289 OBP season and wrist surgery to make an immediate impact either.

  6. drewsylvania - Jul 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Kalish was sent down a couple weeks ago.

  7. dan1111 - Jul 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    ” thus far, they have managed to keep
    within striking distance.”

    More like, the rest of the teams have failed to get out of their striking distance.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      The Yankees have the best record in baseball. The Angels have fourth-best record in the AL. What exactly are you basing that statement on?

      • downsouthnow - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Striking distance of last place?

    • baseballisboring - Jul 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      I mean…tomato to-mah-to, but they’re a game over .500 with the 2nd best run differential in the AL East, all while using a AAA outfield and having barely any starting pitching. I think they’ve earned what they’ve accomplished so far.

  8. sabatimus - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    If Crawford does indeed need TJ surgery, why not just get it over with and keep Nava, who’s been doing so well all year?

  9. impistoff - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Keep him in AAA for the rest of the year….then give him to Epstein as a Christmas gift !!!!!!

  10. hojo20 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I read Nava had options + he’s been slumping, so I suspect he’ll be sent to Pawtucket and be called up in September.

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