Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, on the disabled list while working his way back from surgery in January to repair his wrist and then a subsequent left elbow strain incurred last week, homered for the second time this week while participating in extended spring training games in Fort Myers. Crawford will have his elbow examined in Boston over "the next couple, three days," according to Sox manager Bobby Valentine, in order to make a determination of whether he is able to start playing the outfield.
"I’m hoping he can just go in the outfield and underhand it in for a while and just start playing that way and then get on a throwing program," said Valentine. "I’m hoping that’s the next step."
While there could be some benefit to having Crawford DH on a rehab assignment against more advanced minor league pitching, Valentine said that the level of competition was less of a priority than allowing Crawford to do as much as possible. That being the case, there is benefit to keeping him in extended spring training -- where the conditions of competition can be controlled -- rather than shipping him to an affiliate.
"I guess he could start playing somewhere else and DH. It’s been talked about," said Valentine. "We’re not sure the necessity of having him move around, different weather. Right now he needs to see pitches, get at-bats, get on base. Steal those bases. Start getting comfortable in playing the game. I’m not sure we’re worried about the competition level. We’re worried about his comfort and then his physical."
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