After returning from the 60-day disabled list with elbow issues, an added setback after a previous offseason wrist surgery, Crawford made his debut against the Chicago White Sox going 1-3 with a single and a walk. Not bad, considering the immense amount of time he has already missed.
Crawford was inserted at the No. 2 spot in Monday night's lineup, batting after leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury. But is that where Crawford belongs in the batting order? After all, Dustin Pedroia has usually been the team's No. 2 hitter, and could bump Crawford somewhere else when he returns from a thumb injury.
The only place to move up would be to the leadoff spot, and that belongs to Ellsbury. But Crawford wouldn't be a bad fit for the role if Bobby Valentine thought that Ellsbury would be better off hitting in the middle of the order. Crawford's OBP stats, for the most part, have been impressive, and he was at his best batting leadoff in Tampa Bay.
Crawford also had a fair amount of experience in Tampa Bay batting in the heart of the order, but he would have a little stiffer competition in Boston than he did as a Ray. Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz have the No. 3 and 4 spots pretty much on lockdown, but with Ortiz out for a little while after injuring his Achilles tendon, Crawford could slide in.
The lefty might also be a good fit for the lower part of the Red Sox order, where he hit most of last season. However, he has expressed his desire to stay near the top of the lineup, where he is most comfortable. What's a manger to do?