Carl Crawford batting out of the No. 2 spot tonight

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Carl Crawford is batting No. 2 against the Indians tonight, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona raised some eyebrows by dropping Crawford to the seventh spot in the order on Sunday. Crawford batted third for the first two games of the season.

While Francona said that Crawford was bumped Sunday because he was “trying to do too much,” he did say that it’s possible that he could bat lower against left-handers early on in the season.

“Maybe get him and [Jacoby] Ellsbury back to back and let them get on base and cause some havoc. We may drop him down in the order, at least for a while, against lefties, just to kind of make our batting order look a little better but we’ll see. Again, when guys are hitting and they kind of get into the groove, that won’t matter as much. I just thought he was trying too hard the first couple of days.”

Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142 million contract over the winter, is a .270/.315/.381 hitter against left-handed pitching.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.