Carl Crawford gets cortisone shot for strained left elbow

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Carl Crawford missed yesterday’s game and is out of the lineup this afternoon as well because of a strained left elbow.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Crawford got a cortisone injection in the elbow Tuesday night, which usually knocks players out of commission for at least a couple days.

Crawford told Abraham that he hopes to rejoin the lineup tomorrow night for the start of a three-game road series against the White Sox, admitting that the elbow “has been bothering me for a little while, more when I throw than with my swing.”

Since returning last week from a month-long stint on the disabled list for a hamstring injury Crawford is 10-for-35 (.286) with two doubles and a .685 OPS in eight games. His overall .663 OPS is 118 points below his career norm coming into the first season of a seven-year, $142 million deal.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.