|Bobby Valentine: ‘I’ve never been told that [Carl Crawford] needs an operation’||07.29.12 at 9:43 pm ET|
NEW YORK — With Carl Crawford back in the lineup after sitting on Saturday against left-handed starter CC Sabathia, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine suggested that he was comfortable with the four-day plan that has been outlined for the outfielder’s usage. Valentine also said that, if his playing time is managed properly, that the injured ulnar collateral ligament in Crawford’s left elbow could improve.
“It’s a very simple thing. It bothers him and you don’t want it to get to the point where it’s intolerable. It made sense to me,” Valentine said of the idea of managing Crawford’s playing time. “And we’re hoping that it’s going to hurt less and bother him less and that’s why we have a prescribed program.”
Given that the Sox are hopeful that Crawford’s elbow will improve, Valentine suggested that Crawford’s pronouncement that he will need Tommy John surgery may not prove accurate.
“I heard what Carl said,” said Valentine. “I’ve never been told that he needs an operation. I don’t think that’s a definitive situation.”
Even so, Valentine did check in with his outfielder to make sure that the two remained on the same page after what appeared to be confusion about his usage and playing time on Saturday.
“I said, hey, if I do anything to confuse you or make you anything more than as comfortable as possible, you’ve just got to let me know. I guess when everyone came to him at his locker, he got uncomfortable,” said Valentine. “He says he’s fine.”
- Valentine suggested that the fact that former Red Sox manager Terry Francona held court in the Red Sox clubhouse on Saturday with a number of his former players was a non-issue.”I didn’t think it was any big deal. I didn’t see it,” Valentine said. “I wasn’t there partaking in the conversation but what’s the big deal?” According to MLB.com, Francona apologized to Valentine via text message for his conduct. Francona initially sat down to talk with Cody Ross, but soon there were numerous players around the animated former manager, who is in town as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball’s broadcast.”Yes, he sent the text message,” Valentine told MLB.com prior to his team’s series finale against New York Sunday night at Yankee Stadium. “But it wasn’t necessary.”When asked about the text message by MLB.com, Francona would only say, “That’s personal. I don’t talk about my text messages.”The former Sox skipper reportedly joined his broadcast team in meeting with Valentine Sunday as preparation for the game in what was described as a “cordial” get-together.
- Valentine said that DH David Ortiz is likely on pace to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, when he is first eligible to do so.”He’s feeling really good,” said Valentine. “He should [return Wednesday]. He’s feeling good enough that in a couple, three days, if it gets better, it should feel good enough. But you never know.”
- With the trade deadline now less than 48 hours away, Valentine said that he expects that the Sox are still approaching July 31 as buyers.
“I think that this organization is in it to win it all the time,” he said. “I don’t think ownership and the front office is thinking anything other than we’ve got a shot.”
- Manager Bobby Valentine said Pedro Ciriaco is starting instead of Mike Aviles because of the condition of Aviles’ toe.”I’m trying to get Mike’s toe where it should be and we thought we had it in the situation that was comfortable but less than comfortable,” Valentine said. “I hope he’ll be available. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.”Aviles played on Friday and Saturday against the Yankees and was hitless in eight at-bats with three strikeouts. In 14 second-half games, he’s now hitting .200 with a .226 OBP, .300 slugging mark and .526 OPS.”[The injury] affects his bat,” Valentine said. “He’s been cutting off of it so early that he’s been gutting through it and he’s wanted to play and every time he’s been asked he said he’s fine but finally I talked to him yesterday after the game yesterday and talked to him.”While Ciriaco is batting .356 in the 17 games he’s played in, and went 3-for-5 with a game-winning triple on Saturday, Valentine suggested that he did not foresee him displacing Aviles as the everyday shortstop.”You’re seeing [Ciriaco] at his best,” Valentine said. “Obviously every player has his flaws. I think he’s going to be a contributing factor all year long. I don’t necessarily see him as a starting player every day but he could do it if we needed him to.”
- The manager also said Jayson Nix can’t replace Alex Rodriguez, but the Red Sox can’t overlook him either. Against the Red Sox, the 29-year-old is batting .231 with three RBIs and two home runs.”A-Rod’s a presence, there’s no doubt abut that,” Valentine said. “But you can’t allow Nix to be overlooked obviously and he hit another home run against us last night. … Sometimes it gets confusing. It’s a guy that you haven’t seen as much and you don’t realize that you have to work just as hard to get him out.”
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