Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Crawford making case for postseason

Carl Crawford reacts after getting hit by a pitch while facing Pirates minor-leaguers at the Trop.


Carl Crawford reacts after getting hit by a pitch while facing Pirates minor-leaguers at the Trop.

Carl Crawford hopes to simplify manager Joe Maddon's decision to possibly place him on the playoff roster. He'll get his last chance to make that point in a second rehab game with the Rays' instructional league team today at Tropicana Field.

Crawford's first opportunity went well by his estimation, despite finishing 0-for-4 on Monday against Pittsburgh minor-leaguers.

"I think I did enough today," said Crawford, who had surgery on Aug. 14 to repair tendon damage to his right middle finger. "I didn't get hits, but I showed them bat speed and (today) I'll probably do the same thing. If it's a tough decision after that, I really don't know what to say."

Maddon watched Crawford play before departing for a meeting, and they did not discuss the leftfielder's future.

Crawford came off the disabled list on Friday and entered twice as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement in the regular-season-ending series at Detroit. He has not batted in a game since his injury on Aug. 9. He was batting .273 with 10 triples, eight home runs and 57 RBIs and had stolen 25 bases.

Hitting coach Steve Henderson, who observed the game with head trainer Ron Porterfield, said that he "didn't see any effect" of the injury and that Crawford "looked good." Crawford's main concern, he said, is timing issues after missing 44 games. Crawford agreed.

Crawford was allowed to bat each of the first five innings, popping out to short on a 2-and-0 count in the first, flying to the warning track in centerfield in the second, striking out swinging on an off-speed pitch in the third and popping out to second in the fourth. He was struck between the shoulder blades on a 3-and-2 pitch in the fifth, stole second and later scored.

Crawford hit 72 pitches from minor-league catching coordinator Jamie Nelson before the game, initially flicking outside pitches to leftfield but gradually pulling line drives into the alleys.

Crawford said eight days ago he expected to have to play with constant pain but reported no discomfort on Monday.

"I don't really have an explanation why it got better," he said. "It's just the way it was."

Crawford, 27, had also worried that a recurrence of the injury had been described by doctors as potentially career-threatening, but the longest-tenured Ray is determined to play in the franchise's first postseason.

"That can happen any time, you know?" he said. "That could happen two months from now, it can happen next year. It can always happen. That ain't no big deal."

Rays' Crawford making case for postseason 09/29/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 3:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out of Class 3A semifinals


    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  2. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight


    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  4. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip


    UPDATE, 6:37: Cash said it was a combination of wanting to keep Dickerson, who is a team-best . 358 against lefties, in the lineup and Santiago's splits. ... Cash said there was nothing new on the injured players back at the Trop, with Brad Boxberger still slated to throw live BP on Monday in Port Charlotte, …

  5. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety


    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]