Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted earlier today that outfielder Carl Crawford “is planning to ask the Red Sox to allow him to have Tommy John surgery next week” to repair his strained left elbow.
That report is either incorrect or something has changed, because Crawford’s agent Brian Peters wrote in an email tonight to the Boston Herald that “Carl intends to follow the course recommended by the medical professionals (Red Sox docs) who have been treating him, in whom he has full confidence.”
“Whether and when he has surgery will be determined by them,” continues Peters’ brief message. “The Red Sox have been and remain 100 percent supportive of Carl throughout this process.”
Crawford is batting .283 with a .795 OPS in 30 games since returning from the disabled list on July 16.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.