Crawford has "mild" left ankle sprain, Hammel new address
Rays All-Star LF Carl Crawford was removed from Saturday's matinee after the fourth inning due to what the team said was a "mild" left ankle sprain and seems likely to be sidelined until Tuesday. Also, the Rays made something of a surprise move after the game, sending RHP Jason Hammel back to Triple-A to return to starting, and keeping RHP Jae Kuk Ryu to work out of the bullpen.
Crawford said x-rays were negative but he "probably" wouldn't play until Tuesday - meaning he'd miss the Saturday night and Sunday games in New York. Monday is an off-day and the Rays play Tuesday in Baltimore.
"I don't think it's bad or nothing,'' Crawford said. "I don't think I'm going to be on the DL or nothing like that, that's for sure.''
Crawford appeared to jam his left ankle beating out an infield single in the third inning, and when he later advanced to third base Rays manager Joe Maddon and trainer Ron Porterfield came out of the dugout to check on him, but he waved them off. Crawford played the field in the third and fourth innings, but when his turn in the order came up in the fifth, with a man on second and no outs, he was removed for pinch-hitter Greg Norton, who also replaced him in leftfield. Jonny Gomes will play left in Saturday's night game.
"It was throbbing and aching both - just uncomfortable,'' Crawford said.
The Rays are already short on position players, opting to go with a three-man bench and a 13-man staff for the four-games-in-three days weekend in New York.