Cherington clarifies Crawford rest plan

Cherington clarifies Crawford rest plan

Cherington clarifies Crawford rest plan
BOSTON -- Prior to Tuesday night's game against the Tigers, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington clarified the team's plan for monitoring the health of outfielder Carl Crawford.

Contrary to what manager Bobby Valentine alluded to during last weekend's series in New York, Crawford will not have a medically mandated day off once every five games.

Valentine found himself in the midst of some controversy on Saturday, when he benched Crawford the day after he hit his first homer of the season. The manager said it was because of the medical staff's insistence that the left fielder play no more than four games in a row.

However, Valentine, in the same news conference, admitted he did not abide by those rules when Crawford first returned from elbow and wrist injuries after the All-Star break and instead started the outfielder in six straight games.

On Tuesday, Cherington weighed in on the latest drama surrounding the club, suggesting there may have been some misinterpretation of how best to manage Crawford's health.

"Yeah, you know, when that was going on in New York this weekend, I had a chance to talk to Bobby and Carl and the medical staff," Cherington said. "And the facts are that Carl is coming off an elbow injury and coming off a rehab and was working really hard to get back so he could be activated as soon as possible.

"Perhaps in a perfect world, we would've taken longer, but he wanted to play, and we wanted to get him out there trying to get all our horses out there and so mostly because of that we kind of wanted to get him back out there as soon as we could. We talked about the benefit potentially of a day off here and there in the early part of his activation to kind of get him through the first few weeks and manage that. And so, that was the conversation."

The Sox want to be careful with Crawford, who has a balky elbow that could require Tommy John surgery after the season. So how will the club monitor his health over the final two months of the season?

"Bobby's given him a couple days off, and he may continue to do that," Cherington said. "That's up to him, but I think after the conversations that we've had, I think everyone understands the plan moving forward. Just something we got to manage and keep an eye on, and Carl's toughing it out and wants to play. Every once in a while, maybe we'll give him a day so he can get through this."

In other words, there won't be a hard-and-fast rule for how often Crawford needs a day off.

"No, we're just keeping an eye on it. We're going to listen to what he says day to day, we just want to ... we want to make the off-days count and make sense and come at the right time," said Cherington, in his first year as Boston's GM.

"So, I think we'd prefer not to put a specific number of days on it. I think when Bobby mentioned the four days there had been talk when Carl was first activated about an off-day at some point soon after the initial activation, and at one point, we had talked about, at one point I remember talking about maybe three or four days from now we can give him a day. That number was used but after talking about it more this weekend, I think it's just going to be more of a feel thing, see how Carl is doing. Occasionally he may get a day just to sort of help him get it through this initial phase."

Crawford was in the lineup Tuesday against Detroit playing left field and batting second. He entered the game hitting .238 with one home run, three RBIs and nine runs in 12 games since making his season debut on July 16.