Carl Crawford played his first of two minor league rehab games with Triple-A Pawtucket last night. He played five innings in left field and went 1-for-2 a broken bat RBI single, a walk and a run scored.
Most importantly, he told Mike Scandura of the Boston Globe after the game that his hamstring felt fine.
“The most important thing was being able to break out of the box like I normally can . . . to be able to move quick without worrying about my hamstring,’’ Crawford said after playing five innings in a rehab game for Pawtucket against the Durham Bulls. “I had a few moments tonight where I was able to test it.’’
Crawford has been sidelined since suffering a Grade 1 strain of his his left hamstring while beating out an infield single on June 17. Barring any setbacks this weekend, he is slated to fly to Baltimore on Sunday and rejoin the Red Sox for Monday’s game against the Orioles.
Crawford has a disappointing .243/.275/.384 batting line to go along with six home runs, eight stolen bases and a .659 OPS in 277 plate appearances this season, but was batting .316 with four home runs and 17 RBI over his last 21 games prior to the injury.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.