Carl Crawford shut down with nerve irritation, status for Opening Day in question

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Carl Crawford won’t hit or throw for at least a week because of forearm tightness, manager Don Mattingly announced today.

Players taking time off with aches and pains is a very common occurrence early in spring training, but in Crawford’s case it’s a much bigger worry because it’s related to his Tommy John elbow surgery last year. For now the Dodgers are saying he has “minor nerve irritation” and the ligament isn’t an issue.

Mattingly told Eric Stephen of SB Nation that the setback “challenges” Crawford’s status for Opening Day, which is now very much in question.

Crawford played just 31 games last season and didn’t appear in a game for the Dodgers after coming over in the Adrian Gonzalez-led blockbuster trade/salary dump. He’s owed $20 million for this season and has more than $100 million remaining on his contract.

Indians place Andrew Miller on 10-day disabled list with knee inflammation

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It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.

Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.

In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.