Sunday, July 17, 2011
Updated: July 18, 11:43 AM ET
Carl Crawford to be activated Monday
By Joe McDonald
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox will activate outfielder Carl Crawford from the disabled list on Monday as expected and he's scheduled to be in the lineup against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
He completed a brief two-game rehab stint at Triple-A Pawtucket over the weekend, where he went 1-for-5 in a total of 10 innings played on Friday and Saturday. He's been on the DL with a left hamstring strain since June 18.
"He didn't swing the bat great, but he was really healthy, which is perfect," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He got some at-bats out of the way and hopefully the timing at the plate will come quick. He'll be ready to go (Monday). There were no issues physically. He felt really good and that's great."
Crawford has yet to get hot on a consistent basis for the Red Sox this season, but Francona believes it will happen once he returns.
"He will at some point," Francona said. "His batting average might be lower this year than we're used to, but if he comes back for the last couple of months and is that guy who causes havoc, oh, what a lift that'll give us."
Crawford has a .243 average with 11 doubles, four triples, six homers and 31 RBIs in 67 games this season, but prior to the injury he was starting to produce.
"I thought he had showed flashes, but he never really got hot like he can," Francona said. "I thought he was showing a lot of signs."
Crawford's teammates are anxious to have him back, too.
"Hopefully he's healthy because he was doing so good for this team when he got hurt and hopefully when he comes back he'll be on the same page," said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.
With Crawford set to be activated, the Red Sox need to make a roster move.
It'll be a tough decision for Red Sox management given the fact that Josh Reddick has been playing so well during his two different stints with Boston this season. Entering Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Reddick is hitting .379 with three homers and 17 RBIs. Plus, he's played well defensively.
"When he's hot like that, the kid's got to play," Francona said. "You're doing your team a disservice (if he does not play). He's been terrific. Until (we make a decision) I don't know to make that work perfectly, but we're going to try to win and whoever we think can help us win will play."
The likely transaction could be sending infielder Drew Sutton back to Pawtucket, since Yamaico Navarro can play both the infield and the outfield.
Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.