Carl Crawford admits he likely pushed himself too soon following wrist surgery

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Carl Crawford was shut down and put on anti-inflammatory medication yesterday after suffering a setback with his surgically-repaired left wrist. The high-priced outfielder told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald this morning that the setback was likely the result of pushing himself too soon, especially after participating in bunting drills.

“Bunting didn’t help it,” he said. “Pretty sure just what I’ve been doing over the course of the week, bunting and swinging and throwing and just doing all the activities probably didn’t make it no better. The bunting, that was the final thing that probably took it over the edge.”

Crawford took one-handed swings in the batting cage this morning and hopes to resume two-handed swings “pretty soon,” possibly within the next couple of days.

Crawford still hopes to be ready for Opening Day, but the expectation following surgery was that he would miss at least the first few weeks of the season. This setback, however minor, renders his goal even more unrealistic. Offseason acquisitions Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross project to start in the corner outfield spots until he is ready to return.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

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The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.

Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.

While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.