Carl Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow today. And I’ll save you the suspense: the surgery was successful.
Here’s a statement from the Red Sox, via Maureen A. Mullen of CSNNE.com:
“Carl Crawford underwent a successful left elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) performed by Dr. James Andrews today in Pensacola, FL. We expect Carl to make a full recovery.”
Having the surgery now rather than in October gives Crawford a better chance of contributing in the early part of 2013, but he’s far from a sure thing to be ready for the start of the season. So yes, you can expect lots of drama on that topic during spring training.
Crawford was limited to just 30 games this season due to wrist and elbow issues and has a disappointing .260/.292/.419 batting line over his first two seasons with Boston. The 31-year-old outfielder still has five years and $102.5 million left on his contract.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.