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Maddon not optimistic about Crawford's return



Rays LF Carl Crawford is out of the starting  lineup for the sixth straight game in today's series finale agains Boston and manager Joe Maddon sounded much less optimistic about Crawford's return from a left groin strain.

"I'm not so sure right now he's going to be able to do this," Maddon said. "We're hopeful for the first game back (Tuesday), but it just doesn't seem like it's going anywhere we need it to go for him to participate right now. We'll look at it again after the day off but I'm not anticipating he wil be able to play."

Maddon said he would even shy away from using Crawford in a pinch-hitting role today.

"He's made progress, but it's just not to the point where he feels comfortable with it," Maddon said.

The Rays open a three-game series Tuesday against the Yankees at Tropicana Field. Maddon has said that if it gets up to the Rays' final series in Toronto and Crawford hasn't played he would seriously consider shelving Crawford for the season.

Otherwise, with a day-after-night game, Raul Casanova gets a start at C and Joel Guzman is in the lineup at DH.

The Rays full lineup today:
Iwamura, 3B
Velandia, 2B
Pena, 1B
Upton, CF
Young, RF
Casanova, C
Gomes, LF
Guzman, DH
Wilson, SS

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:32am]


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