BOSTON -- Carl Crawford may soon be coming to a minor-league ballpark near you.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the plan, though "not etched in stone," is for Crawford to make a rehab stint prior to returning from a hamstring injury suffered June 17. If this plan is put in motion, Crawford could return to Boston's lineup July 18 in Baltimore, roughly a month after injuring himself beating out an infield single.
"I think what we're going to do is wait 'til the All-Star break and then let him go play a couple games when the break's over and then maybe have him join us in Baltimore," said Francona. "Rather than try to get him back here for, like, a Sunday, give him four days off, go on turf and play. I don't know if that's in anybody's best interest."
If Crawford were to join the Red Sox immediately following the break, he'd be testing his hamstring on the artificial turf of Tropicana Field. Instead, he can get his legs under him on the natural grass fields of Triple-A Pawtucket or Double-A Portland; both play at home during the July 15-17 post-break stretch.
Rehabbing major leaguers are huge draws for New England's minor league parks. And Crawford would not be going grudgingly.
"He actually wanted the at-bats," said Francona.