What Alex Cora Is Expecting From Kutter Crawford In First Career Start

'We expect him to go out there and compete the right way'

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The Boston Red Sox promoted pitching prospect Kutter Crawford on Sunday and will have the 25-year-old make his major league debut against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park.

Crawford’s debut comes as starting pitcher Nick Pivetta was placed on the COVID-19 Related Injured List on Sunday morning. Danny Santana was added to the list about a half hour prior to the 1 p.m. ET first pitch.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained what he’s expecting to see from Crawford.

“He’s a full-go, Crawford is,” Cora said on a pregame video conference. “Obviously, his first big league start and all that, it should be fun. I think we’ll manage it as a group just like a regular start — similar to Tanner (Houck). Go five (innings) and see where we’re at.

“I mean that’s more about player development, right, and the job people are doing down there. They feel like he throws strikes and his stuff is really good,” Cora added. “He controls both sides of the plate. He can elevate and he can expand with his off-speed pitches. It’s one of those things we’re comfortable with him and we expect him to go out there and compete the right way and give us a chance to win the game.”

Cora made it sound like Crawford was the chosen pitcher — over fellow prospect Connor Seabold, specifically — due to his being fully rested and able to make Sunday’s start.

“Honestly, we shut down both of them for one day just out of precaution, in case we needed starters. He (Crawford) was the one on regular rest before, and we just let Seabold pitch, but obviously with everything going on he (Seabold) might be in consideration the next five days,” Cora said. “You never know. It’s one of those that everybody thought ‘We have two guys, this one is more rested,’ and we let Seabold pitch yesterday.”

Crawford, who had Tommy John surgery in October of 2019, went 5-5 with a 4.16 ERA across 16 combined appearances (15 starts) in Double-A and Triple-A. Crawford was 2-3 with a 5.52 ERA in Worcester before his call-up.

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