Red Sox expect Carl Crawford to miss all of April

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Most of the updates about Carl Crawford’s recovery from wrist surgery have involved setbacks or delays this spring, and now Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes: “Don’t expect Crawford to join the Red Sox before May.”

That’s not an official timetable, at least not yet, but according to Abraham he’s yet to take batting practice and will stay behind in extended spring training once the season begins.

Bobby Valentine has said previously that Crawford will need “50 at-bats somewhere” before potentially being cleared to rejoin the Red Sox, which means he’ll be several weeks away from returning after he resumes game action. And he’s not close to that yet.

Initially when Crawford underwent surgery in January the hope was that he’d miss just 2-3 weeks of the regular season, but at this point even early May seems optimistic. Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross will be Boston’s starting corner outfielders for at least a month.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.