Tomorrow morning, while youre stuck in traffic, hitting the snooze bar, or (more likely) feverishly hitting the refresh on this blog, Carl Crawford will be on the operating table. There, Dr. James Andrews and his team of robot surgeons will slice into the outfielders arm and officially disprove the once-unanimous theory:
Theres no way Crawfords second year in Boston can be less productive than his first.
Then, once surgery is in the books, well turn our attention to year three of the Carl Crawford Era, and a few obvious questions:
1. When will he be back in the line-up?
2. When will he be 100 percent?
3. Will he ever be 100 percent?
4. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch someone flush 120M down the toilet?
Early speculation ball-parked Crawfords recovery time at somewhere between 7-9 months, but in the quest for clarity, Rob Bradford sat down with a position player who knows a thing or two about coming back from Tommy John surgery: The friendly Mike Aviles.
Around 7 months I was playing in spring training games, and that was kind of rare, said Aviles, who underwent Tommy John in July of 2009. I still wasnt able to play shortstop, but I was able to play second because my throws just didnt have the extra carry that I needed.
He continued: I felt fully healed once the season started, but you could still feel as the months went on that your arm continued to get stronger. I would say right around the year mark is when I felt completely, fully, fully back to normal."
Of course, everyone's different. Then, there's the fact that Aviles is a middle infielder and Crawford's an outfielder. (The most notable outfielder I found to have had the surgery is Matt Holiday, who went under in July of 2001 and was ready for the start of the next season. But then again, that was back when he was a 21-year-old minor leaguer.)
Speaking of age, we also have to consider that Aviles had the surgery shortly after his 28th birthday, where as Crawford just turned 31. There's also the grim reality that Crawford hasn't exactly proven himself to be a quick healer during his two years in Boston.
Either way, best case scenario, it seems like we'll be looking at least next August before we see Carl Crawford at his best and brightest. And to that, I'll say there's a very good chance that year three is just as unproductive as the first two.