Crawford shut down for week
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford will be shut down for about a week to rest his sore left wrist, manager Bobby Valentine announced Monday.
“He was examined and determined that he should curtail his swinging and his throwing for 5-7 days,’’ Valentine said. “A little inflammation was detected. He’s going to do just that [rest].’’
Valentine would not rule out Crawford being ready for Opening Day but said, “The Opening Day thing is probably not realistic. It’s not the calendar. He’ll be ready when he’s ready. As we talked about before he got here and we’ve reiterated that Carl loves to do a lot of stuff and it’s probably not in his best interest at this time to overdo it. It’s more work than his wrist needs at this time.’’
Crawford had to curtail activities recently after his surgically repaired wrist developed inflammation after bunting drills.
Although at this point it still looks as if Mike Aviles will be the starting shortstop, keep an eye on Jose Iglesias.
Valentine had many good things to say about the 22-year-old Cuban-born shortstop.
“They’ve been OK,’’ Valentine said about Iglesias’s at-bats, before Monday night’s game against the Twins at Hammond County Stadium. “I don’t think his technique is what it needs to be but his ABs have been good. If we add a little more technique and rhythm and something to give him the ability to recognize the pitch earlier and time it better, he might be close.’’
Asked if Iglesias were receptive to coaching, Valentine said, “Iglesias has been outstanding on my watch. I haven’t been in the cage with him so I’m not totally sure what’s going on. I know it’s proper and I don’t know what his aptitude is from there to the game. What I’m seeing is very good.’’
Is the shortstop indeed “special?’’
“Well, yes,’’ said Valentine. “Here’s the specialness - he has a special tracking device on fly balls unique to very few from what I’ve seen so far. He has a special ability to transfer the ball from glove to hand. He has a specialness moving and range, and game awareness, and I can tell he can transfer the ball from a longer distance more than anyone I’ve ever seen and he’s got that GPS in his mind.’’
Valentine was asked whether anyone could have hauled in a pair of popups that Iglesias caught in a B game vs. the Twins late last week.
“I dare say no one in this camp based on the skill set,’’ Valentine said. “Few, if anyone - Ozzie [Smith] and Rey Ordonez could do that. There’s a few, but very few. They could be runs if there are people on base. [Catching] the popup is not a skill that should be discarded. Especially in today’s world.’’
Team comes first
David Ortiz isn’t crazy about playing first base in spring training, but the slugger was back in the lineup at first Monday night.
Valentine said he wants Ortiz to get used to playing the position to prepare for interleague play. Valentine also needs a backup for Adrian Gonzalez if he gets hurt. Ortiz seems to be it.
Valentine said he didn’t think Ortiz would play first too much.
“If he gets his little foundation in, working the [pitchers fielding practices] the way he’s been doing, and then taking it into the game . . . I don’t know it will take many more games,’’ Valentine said. “Maybe a couple of refreshers before end of spring, but not many.’’
Valentine also said he would probably use Gonzalez in the outfield a few games to prepare him for interleague play.
Progress for Bailey
Andrew Bailey is progressing from a lat strain. Barring a setback, he should get into a game this week and that would give him approximately seven appearances before the start of the season . . . Daniel Bard is scheduled to make his second start Tuesday vs. the Orioles at JetBlue Park. He had been feeling some back stiffness but he appears to be over it. Dan Duquette, the new Orioles general manager, will address the media before the game . . . Valentine, told that some teams already have named their Opening Day starter, wouldn’t go there. In fact, he said, “Can I be last please? Can you tell me when all the rest of the 29 have done it?’’ . . . Dwight Evans has been working with some of Boston’s young minor league hitters. He loves left fielder Brandon Jacobs, who he believes will hit for power and be a good all-around player . . . Kevin Youkilis’s father tore an Achilles’ heel Monday.