During the weekend, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he would be following the medical staff’s protocol by giving Crawford a day off after playing in four straight games ?? what he termed the “four-day plan”.
The announcement caught Crawford by surprise. Four days later, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington refuted Valentine’s assertion, claiming Crawford needs to adhere to a mandated schedule of rest.
“We want to make the off days count, make sense and come at the right time,” Cherington said. “I think we’d prefer not to put a specific number of days on it. I think when Bobby mentioned the four days there had been talk when Carl was first activated about an off day at some point soon after the initial activation.
“At one point I remember talking about maybe three or four days from now we can give him a day. That number was used but after talking about it more this weekend, I think it’s just going to be more of a feel thing, see how Carl is doing. Occasionally, he may get a day just to sort of help him get it through this initial phase.”
It’s another element of confusion as the Red Sox map out a plan to take care of Crawford’s balky elbow. When the team first activated Crawford, Valentine played the left fielder in six consecutive games before sitting him.
In retrospect, Valentine explained his actions by saying he vetoed the medical team’s orders for a four-day plan. Despite the inconsistencies, Cherington insisted that he’d met with Valentine and Crawford to iron out all issues.
“The facts are that Carl is coming off an elbow injury and coming off a rehab and was working really hard to get back so he could be activated as soon as possible,” Cherington said. “Perhaps in a perfect world, we would’ve taken longer, but he wanted to play and we wanted to get him out there trying to get all our horses out there.
“We talked about the benefit of potentially of a day off here and there in the early part of his activation to kind of get him through the first few weeks and manage that.”
But it may not help Crawford moving forward. The 30-year-old has consistently reiterated the need for Tommy John surgery, a reality that Dr. James Andrews discussed with him months ago.
In past weeks, Cherington and Valentine each publicly denied that claim. So in reality, the only thing that all three parties can agree on is they’ll continue to proceed with caution.
“Carl’s toughing it out and wants to play,” Cherington said. “Every once in a while maybe we’ll give him a day so he can get through this. We’re just keeping an eye on it. We’re going to listen to what he says day-to-day.”
That’s the only guarantee in an unpredictable situation.