Since making his season debut on July 16, Carl Crawford has emerged as one of the Red Sox' top hitters. Heading into Saturday's game, the left fielder was hitting .287 with three home runs and 19 RBIs through 28 games.
But despite Saturday's 4-1 win over the Yankees, Crawford could be shutting it down for the year. According to The Boston Globe, the outfielder plans to ask management in the coming days if he can undergo Tommy John surgery.
Before the Red Sox took the field against the Yankees, general manager Ben Cherington told reporters in New York that he hadn't heard anything from Crawford, who would likely return next April.
"He hasn't asked about that," Cherington said. "Carl's playing through an elbow injury. He's been trying to help the team win. It's a situation we're monitoring. We've been in close contact with him. We'll continue to talk to him and determine a course that's best for him and the team. There's nothing more than that right now."
The timing is understandable, considering the Red Sox are slipping out of the postseason race and Crawford has battled a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. It typically takes position players six to nine months to heal from the procedure.
While Crawford hasn't been shy about admitting that he's playing through pain, he's performed well. In the month of August, he leads the majors in doubles (10) and extra-base hits (13).
There's a possibility that his injury worsened, but Cherington wouldn't offer his thoughts.
"I'm not going to get into detail on the nature of the injury," Cherington said. "He's got an injury that he's been playing through and playing well, and gutting it out to help the team. Again, we're monitoring it, we're keeping in touch with him and seeing how he's doing with it."
But in the end, who makes the final decision? Cherington indicated that it all falls on Crawford.
"We're not going to ask a player to go out there [if] they're having symptoms that don't allow them to be who they want to be on the field," Cherington said. "That's not fair. It's going to be a lot more about Carl and less about where the team is."
Before the game, Crawford declined to speak to reporters in New York through a team spokesman.