BOSTON -- Left fielder Carl Crawford is still on schedule to begin a 20-day rehab assignment Saturday, serving as the designated hitter for the Red Sox Gulf Coast League team in Fort Myers.
Manager Bobby Valentine said Crawford would probably alternate game days, serving as the DH for one and then playing in the field for the next.
This will essentially be like a spring training for Crawford, who did not have one this season after surgery in mid-January on his left wrist and a subsequent elbow injury.
His health will determine a lot of his progress, Valentine said. But then its also baseball. He has to feel good about playing baseball and thats what spring trainings usually for. And what do we do, we do three times at bat, 15 games and 45 total at-bats. And instead of having the off-days as in spring training, hell probably get it in less than a month, 20 days.
Crawfords comfort level in his at-bats will be an indicator of his progress.
He might get four balls the first time up. He might hit the first pitch twice in a row, Valentine said. Id like him to see some pitches and not overextend himself, if hes running around the bases down there in Florida. But he could do it a couple of times and thatd be enough.
Although Crawford is getting closer to playing in major league games, Valentine said hes reserving any excitement until that is a reality.
I want him to be healthy, Valentine said. If hes health, Ill be happy. Then Ill start getting excited after hes healthy and playing the game of baseball.