Terry Francona explains his approach toward Carl Crawford’s spot in the lineup
|04.05.11 at 5:42 pm ET|
CLEVELAND – For the fourth time in four games, Red Sox manager Terry Francona tried out a new lineup, Tuesday night.
Most notably, Carl Crawford, who hit seventh after manning the No. 3 spot for the first two games of the seasons, was slotted in the second slot with Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin on the mound.
Francona said he still might be moving Crawford around, whether it’s the No. 2 or 3 spots, or potentially finding himself lower in the order against left-handers. Throughout his career, the outfielder has spent more time in the second spot than any other place in the lineup.
Crawford explained that prior to Tuesday night’s game at Progressive Field that he hit leadoff for most of his minor league career up until he reached Triple A, when the speedster was moved to No. 3.
“In the big picture I don’t think it matters. But I just thought third the first couple of days, coupling with him being new, I thought he was trying to do too much,” Francona said regarding Crawford, who did have two hits in the last game of the Sox’ series in Texas.
“Maybe get him and [Jacoby] Ellsbury back to back and let them get on base and cause some havoc. We may drop him down in the order, at least for a while, against lefties, just to kind of make our batting order look a little better but we’ll see. Again, when guys are hitting and they kind of get into the groove, that won’t matter as much. I just thought he was trying too hard the first couple of days.”
The move also put Dustin Pedroia at No. 3, a position he manned his junior year in college and for seven games in 2010. In the game he hit three home runs – June 24 in Colorado – the second baseman was hitting third.
“I think he’d hit anywhere,” Francona said regarding Pedroia. “He’s even told me he’d hit first. I don’t think that’s … I think he tries too hard. But no, again, our batting order might change a little bit early on, depending on who’s pitching for them, who we have available, how we’re swinging. I don’t think it’s that big a deal. I think that’s what sometimes a day off will do for you.”
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