Carl Crawford pulled off rehab assignment with mild groin strain

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Oh boy. Carl Crawford’s return to the Red Sox will be delayed yet again, as Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports that the high-priced outfielder was pulled from his minor league rehab assignment due to a mild left groin strain.

Crawford must be shut down for five days before the 20-day window on his minor league rehab assignment can be reset. Of course, he could miss more than five days if additional tests reveal anything serious. He is currently on his way back to Boston for evaluation.

This is the second setback for Crawford since January surgery to remove cartilage from his left wrist. The 30-year-old was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in late April.

Crawford batted just .255/.289/.405 with a .694 OPS last season in the first year of a seven-year, $142 million contract. His attempt at redemption will have to wait a little bit longer.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.