Carl Crawford is going to need Tommy John surgery eventually

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Carl Crawford says his groin strain that has delayed his comeback slightly is no big deal. He gets it every year. His elbow, however, is kind of a mess, and Crawford says that he’s eventually going to need Tommy John surgery on it. Here’s Crawford on the State of The Ligament:

“Probably at some point, because it’s one of those deals. It is what it is,” Crawford said. “So probably at some point it’s going to go out on me.”

Asked if he had thought about having surgery before the elbow goes out, Crawford replied:

“Thought about it but at this point if I can play, I think they want me out on the field. So I’m just trying to do everything I can to get back on the field.”

Rehab time for a position player getting TJ surgery is much shorter than a pitcher because, you know, no curveballs. But Crawford admits that he should try to take it easier on throws from the outfield, going for the cutoff man more often.  He says, however, that it’s likely that he won’t do that because in the heat of the moment you just do what you’re trained to do, and sometimes that means firing for home.

He says he’s close to coming back. And I suppose that means base runners are close to salivating at the thought of running on Crawford’s questionable arm.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.