CLEVELAND Carl Crawford has finally started looking the guy everybody thought was coming from Tampa Bay when Theo Epstein signed him to a megabucks contract.
Thats the good news.
The bad news is that Crawford contends that hes been playing through pain since he returned from the disabled list, and now his surgically repaired wrist is beginning to give him issues again. Crawford smacked three doubles, scored two runs and knocked in three runs in Bostons 14-1 demolishing of the Indians on Sunday afternoon, but he also exited the game in the top of the fifth inning due to the sore wrist.
Just over time using it when youre sliding or using it as the top hand in your swing when you try to hit the ball hard. Over time that makes it sore, said Crawford. If the game was close I definitely would have stayed in. I dont think its too much of a big deal.
Crawford said he had a cortisone shot five months ago in the left wrist, and perhaps the pain just meant he was due to have another injection. It clearly didnt affect his performance in the field just like a throwing elbow that needs Tommy John surgery hasnt negatively affected his quality of play.
After all its a guy thats hit .311 over his last 16 games with 13 extra base hits and 15 RBIs, and finally appears to be the top-of-the-order catalyst nestled between Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia in the batting order.
It is what it is. Ive been playing with pain the entire time that Ive been brought back, so its just one of those things where it was a little more sore today than it was on other days, said Crawford. The elbow is no secret. Today was the first day I had a wrist issue. It is what it is.
Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he hoped it was just a little thing, but warning bells and whistles do go off when its an area thats been surgically repaired.
His wrist was bothering him a little today and thats why he came out. Its a little thing . . . I hope. But I think hes just trying to be Carl Crawford, said Bobby Valentine. That was like a 2012 version of Carl Crawford.
Crawford sounded surprised that his manager was talking publicly about the issue.
He did? said Crawford. It was a little sore today. Maybe its a concern to him because he brought it up to you guys.
All of Crawfords aches and pains and the fact that he appears to still need major surgery on his elbow continue to push the question of when the Sox decide to officially call themselves out of the playoff race. At that point they could certainly pull the plug on Crawford and let him get a head start on next season, but the Sox dont appear to be there yet with two big divisional series against Baltimore and New York staring them in the face.