Via Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal:
Carl Crawford will fly back to Fort Myers, Fla., on Monday and “more than likely” will play in his first extended-spring-training game on Tuesday, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.
Crawford has been on the 15-day disabled list since the start of the regular season due to lingering inflammation in his surgically-repaired left wrist.
He experienced a setback recently in the form of left elbow soreness, but it was only a minor issue and he was able to take batting practice Saturday in an indoor cage while the Red Sox hosted the Rays outside.
“He’s taken a lot of batting practice,” Valentine said Sunday morning. “He might have even been part of the inspiration for our play yesterday. He was taking it during the game in the cage. The sound was so loud that I think it inspired some of our guys to hit the ball hard. He was really making a loud noise in that batting cage.”
Crawford, who posted a disappointing .255/.289/.405 slash line in 2011, is expected to be ready in early May.
The Red Sox are looking to punch their ticket to the World Series in Houston on Thursday night Game 5 of the ALCS. If they do, they’ll return to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2013, knocking out the defending champs in the process.
RF Mookie Betts
LF Andrew Benintendi
DH J.D. Martinez
SS Xander Bogaerts
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Rafael Devers
C Christian Vázquez
CF Jackie Bradley, Jr.
SP David Price
Chris Sale is still feeling weak after his brief stint in the hospital earlier this week, so Price is getting the start instead. If the series goes to a Game 6, Sale would start.
The lineup is a little different than it was when they faced Verlander in Game 1. Moreland and Kinsler are new additions. Devers draws another start with Eduardo Núñez banged up.
3B Alex Bregman
RF George Springer
DH José Altuve
SS Carlos Correa
1B Yuli Gurriel
2B Marwín González
LF Tony Kemp
C Martin Maldonado
CF Jake Marisnick
SP Justin Verlander
Bregman hits leadoff again. He hasn’t hit for average — just .182 — but he has drawn seven walks across four games. González handles second base again as Altuve’s right knee remains sore. Marisnick is getting his first start of the postseason. He’s had just one plate appearance, coming in Game 2 of the ALDS and he struck out.