Crawford close to getting some game action
Red Sox left fielder could play extended spring on Tuesday
BOSTON -- Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford could see time in extended spring games as soon as Tuesday, a day after he returns to the team's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
"Yeah, I think that's when I'm scheduled to play," Crawford said. "I'm happy to be playing games again."
As general manager Ben Cherington detailed on Friday, Crawford has remained in Boston through the weekend, taking batting practice. Crawford, who's been bothered by his throwing elbow, said Sunday he will not attempt to throw yet.
"I throw in a week or so," Crawford said.
Asked about how the elbow felt, Crawford said: "Well, I haven't thrown yet, so I'll know that ... when I start throwing."
His hitting this weekend had manager Bobby Valentine raving.
"Carl is swinging the bat extremely well, if you haven't noticed. He's going to be leaving for Florida tomorrow," Valentine said Sunday. "More than likely, [he will play] Tuesday. I can't guarantee that. He'd like to play at least by Tuesday."
Crawford's been hitting the ball so well that Valentine joked Crawford's batting-practice sessions were the motivation for the team's 13-run performance in a win over the Rays on Saturday. With center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury likely out for at least six weeks, Crawford's healthy return becomes even more crucial.
"He's taken a lot of batting practice. He might have even been part of the inspiration for our play yesterday," Valentine said. "He was taking it during the game in the cage. The sound was so loud that I think it inspired some of our guys to hit the ball hard. He was really making a loud noise in that batting cage."
Once swelling subsides, more tests for Jacoby
BOSTON -- Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury still has evaluations to undergo after suffering a subluxed right shoulder, which is a partial dislocation, on Friday.
The team has been waiting for the swelling in his shoulder to go down since tests are difficult to conduct under those circumstances. It's been nearly two full days since Ellsbury was hurt in the fourth inning Friday afternoon against the Rays, on a takeout slide he made at second base.
"The 48-hour period is almost done where the ice will no longer have any effect, I guess, or have any benefit," manager Bobby Valentine said Sunday morning. "That's the period we're waiting to get over, where the swelling is controlled as much as possible. Then I believe there'll be another evaluation."
Ellsbury is likely out for at least a month and a half, and Valentine said Saturday that surgery was not a word he had heard. The matter will become clearer once doctors are able to conduct further examinations.
Jason Repko was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and started in center field against the Rays, while shortstop Mike Aviles again filled in as the leadoff hitter after going 3-for-5 in that role on Saturday.
Red Sox exploring trade market for outfielders
BOSTON -- The Red Sox are looking outside the organization for outfield help, baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com on Sunday. One source cautioned, however, that teams often do not want to unload players this time of year.
Jacoby Ellsbury's partially dislocated right shoulder -- an injury the Red Sox still do not know the extent of -- and Carl Crawford's recovery from left wrist surgery and sore left elbow leave the Sox with only two healthy outfielders who reached 100 big league games played last season: Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney. Were Crawford and Ellsbury healthy, Ross and Sweeney would likely be platoon players.
Sweeney, a left-handed hitter, sat Sunday against Rays lefty Matt Moore. The right-handed-hitting Ross was in right field Sunday, with Jason Repko, who was called up before the game, in center and Darnell McDonald in left.
The only other healthy outfielder the Red Sox have on their 40-man roster is Che-Hsuan Lin, whom manager Bobby Valentine said is not ready to contribute with the bat at the big league level and who was demoted Sunday morning after one day in the Majors. Ryan Kalish, who posted a .252 average with four homers and 24 RBIs while playing 53 games in 2010 while Ellsbury was sidelined with a rib injury, is on the club's 60-day disabled list.
A lot may depend on whether Ellsbury needs surgery or will miss an extended time without surgery. Swelling in his shoulder needs to go down before further tests are done, and Sunday marks 48 hours since he was hurt sliding into second base during Friday's home opener vs. the Rays.