For months, Carl Crawford has told the Boston Red Sox that he needs Tommy John surgery. Dr. James Andrews, Crawford explained, said in April that the procedure was inevitable. Instead of allowing the 31-year-old outfielder to undergo the surgery earlier this year, which would have allowed him to be ready for opening day in 2013, the Red Sox will likely be without their left fielder until anywhere from May to July, based on today’s news.
According to WEEI.com, Crawford will have Tommy John surgery on Thursday. The Red Sox are off today before opening a three-game set with the Angels at Fenway Park on Tuesday, and team officials met with Crawford to discuss his situation.
The Red Sox signed Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million deal before the 2011 season in hopes he would serve as a tablesetter and a run producer, wreak havoc on the basepaths, hit for average and some power, and provide exceptional defense in left field.
Instead, his tenure with the club has been defined by poor numbers and injuries. A year after hitting .307 with 19 home runs, 90 RBI and 47 stolen bases for the Tampa Bay Rays, he had a .255 average with 11 home runs, 56 RBI and 18 stolen bases with Boston in 2011.
In spring training, it was revealed that Crawford underwent off-season wrist surgery. Then he suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Crawford preferred to have Tommy John surgery instead of returning this year, but the Red Sox chose to have him rehab and return to action. In 117 at-bats, Crawford is hitting .282 with three home runs, 19 RBI and five steals.
Over the weekend, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington denied that a decision about Crawford had been made. He told the media that the team would meet with Crawford and Red Sox medical staff members on Monday to determine a course of action, which not surprisingly resulted in the announcement of Tommy John surgery.
Crawford played left field and hit in the No. 2 spot Sunday night in Boston’s series finale at Yankee Stadium. With the Red Sox at 59-63 and 7.5 games out in the wild card race, their post-season chances are remote.
Considering his ability to produce when healthy, shutting him down for the season, allowing him to get Tommy John surgery and start the rehab process so he can return healthy early in the 2013 season would be a wise choice, yet in a season marked by drama and dysfunction from the ownership group to the manager’s office and the clubhouse, “common sense” and “intelligent decisions” are not associated with the Red Sox in 2012.
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