BOSTON Carl Crawford, who has been on the disabled list all season after surgery on his left wrist in mid-January and an ailing elbow, said he could be getting close to beginning to throw, which will be the big test for him.
His wrist is healthy, but it is the elbow that is holding him back. Crawford, who has been doing all baseball activities except throwing, said he could begin doing so in about 10 days.
My strength is good, he said. Im building that up. Swinging has never been the problem. The only true test is when I start back throwing. Thats how Ill know where Im at.
Manager Bobby Valentine said Crawford is beginning a program to get him ready to throw.
Its some days away but hes going to start today, Valentine said. Were going to start programming his body if we can to get ready to throw. Mechanically were going to try to get his legs and his front side and all the things that go into the proper throwing motion, try to get them mechanically in synch.
Id like his throwing program and hitting program to be supervised as much as possible, especially at the beginning and he is swinging off the tee. He went up to 60 swings yesterday. Were hoping to increase that today.
Theres a throwing mechanic that wed like to see Carl use, which I would think would be proper. Theres a turn of the body, a step of the leg, a late rotation with the upper body rather than an early rotation with the upper body and thats a kind of a movement from the body to the top, a kinetic link from the feet to the place thats being propelled so wed just like him to start getting that linkage and so well do it and kind of go through the throwing motions.
We have the time and he asked to do it. He wanted to get his legs in the proper position, his body in the proper position, so we tried to design a little program.
The throwing program is an effort to prevent Crawford from doing too much at once and suffering a setback.
At the beginning I didn't know Carl that well and I had just heard about, Valentine said. I repeated what I had heard. I talked to Carl an awful lot and I think he understands what enough is and what progress we need to see every day and hes been great with it.
In spring training, when it was believed Crawford could return in late April or early May, Valentine had said hed like to see Crawford get about 50 at-bats in rehab games. Given the length of Crawfords absence, Valentine is unsure if that number will change.
If he was leading off and got five at-bats for 10 days I think that probably is a number that could work but Im not sure, Valentine said. Hell know when hes ready.