Carl Crawford to begin rehab games Friday, return Monday

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Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford is right on track in his recovery from a badly strained left hamstring.

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Crawford is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday evening with Triple-A Pawtucket. If all goes well, he will only be required to play in two rehab games before returning to the Red Sox starting lineup Monday in Baltimore.

Crawford, 29, was batting .243/.275/.384 with six home runs, eight stolen bases and 31 RBI in 277 plate appearances before straining his hamstring in mid-June. He signed a seven-year, $142 million free agent contract with the Red Sox this past December.

Mets lose Robinson Canó, Jeff McNeil to injured list

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As Bill wrote last night, Robinson Canó — bashed for his lack of hustle just a few days ago — busted it out of the box last night and strained his hamstring. That has now landed him on the injured list. Adeiny Hechavarria took over at second base after Cano’s last night and is starting there in today’s game versus the Nationals. No timetable has been given for Canó, but one usually misses at least a couple of weeks with hamstring pulls, sometimes longer.

Also going on the shelf for the Mets is Jeff McNeil, who hurt his hamstring on Tuesday. J.D. Davis will cover for him until he comes back. Michael Conforto is the next regular outfielder who should return to the fold. He has still not been given an offical comeback date after hitting the injured list with a concussion, but it was reported yesterday that he has been symptom free for a few days, which is a good sign.