Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left hamstring strain, the result of a dash to first base in the first inning Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. Outfielder Josh Reddick was recalled to take Crawford's place on the active roster.
An MRI taken after Crawford was removed from the game showed a Grade 1 strain, the least severe kind. He was hopeful to avoid the DL, but the team's medical staff determined that it would take 10 to 14 days "at best" before Crawford could be ready to play, according to manager Terry Francona.
"That's kind of a no-brainer," Francona said. "I called him today and talked. He gets it."
The Boston manager said Friday night that because Crawford's game is so reliant on his legs, the club may want to be extra careful with him. Once the word from the staff was handed down, it was an easy decision to disable him.
The club will primarily use Darnell McDonald in left, but will also mix in Mike Cameron, Reddick and even Drew Sutton to fill the void. McDonald was activated earlier in the week after a quality rehab stint in the wake of a quad strain. The timing of the Crawford injury plays into the favor of McDonald, who was not getting playing time earlier but can now capitalize on the quality at-bats he got at Pawtucket.
"He got banged up a little bit, he went down to Triple-A and we tried to use that to our advantage," Francona said of McDonald. "He got consistent at-bats. Through no fault of his own he wasn't playing that much. Now, he gets a chance to go play?He's got a better chance to be the player he was last year. Hit the occasional ball out of the ballpark, steal a base, give us good at-bats, play good defense."
As for Reddick, a notoriously streaky player, the Red Sox may be getting him back at a good time as well. The 24-year-old struggled after being sent down to Pawtucket earlier this month, although he had two home runs and a walk in Friday's game against Lehigh Valley.
Reddick has 14 home runs in just 52 games for the PawSox, and Francona hopes that his power surge can translate into some pop off the bench for the big club.
"He gets in that pull mode sometimes, starts swinging at the ball out of the zone, gets himself in trouble," Francona said. "He went back to Triple-A and kind of struggled for awhile. Fortunately, yesterday, he was able to hit the ball out of the ballpark and, more fortunately, he took nice level swings and he wasn''t cheating or selling out to get to a ball."
Reddick hit .385 (5-for-13) with a double and four RBIs in his earlier stint with the Red Sox.