Crawford getting closer to throwing

693028.jpg

Crawford getting closer to throwing

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.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake