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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jacoby Ellbury's Injury Makes Carl Crawford's Return Vital

With news coming Saturday that the Red Sox will lose their star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury for an undetermined amount of time, the return of $20 Million left fielder Carl Crawford now becomes a necessity for the Sox. 

Carl Crawford had surgery to repair his ailing wrist in January and was supposed to be on track to return toward the end of April before soreness in his throwing elbow set him back another week or more, putting him on pace for a return in early to mid May.

Coming off of a lackluster--at best--first season in a Red Sox uniform, Carl Crawford was expected to make huge strides in the second year of his $142 Million contract but injuries have so far robbed him of that opportunity. If the Red Sox plan on having a productive outfield, they need Crawford healthy soon. 

Cody Ross, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Sweeney in the outfield for an extended period of time just won't cut it. All three are respectable players but D-Mac is better served as a fourth outfielder and the combination of Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney would be fine--as a platoon. Granted Ryan Sweeney has been excellent in his time on the field but its quite obvious he will come back to Earth and likely in dramatic fashion. 

The offense from the outfield without CC and Ellsbury will be bad enough but where the Red Sox will really suffer is defensively. Losing a pair of gold glove outfielders at the same time can't be good for business--especially when you are forced to replace them with less than average talents. 

The Sox can probably sustain this outfield for a limited amount of time but the bottom line is they need Carl Crawford back if they're gonna be without Ellsbury for a significant amount of time. He's making a boatload of money--it's time he shows Red Sox Nation what the folks in Tampa saw all those years. 

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