Red Sox

Crawford getting closer to throwing

693028.jpg

Crawford getting closer to throwing

BOSTON Carl Crawford, who has been on the disabled list all season after surgery on his left wrist in mid-January and an ailing elbow, said he could be getting close to beginning to throw, which will be the big test for him.

His wrist is healthy, but it is the elbow that is holding him back. Crawford, who has been doing all baseball activities except throwing, said he could begin doing so in about 10 days.

My strength is good, he said. Im building that up. Swinging has never been the problem. The only true test is when I start back throwing. Thats how Ill know where Im at.

Manager Bobby Valentine said Crawford is beginning a program to get him ready to throw.

Its some days away but hes going to start today, Valentine said. Were going to start programming his body if we can to get ready to throw. Mechanically were going to try to get his legs and his front side and all the things that go into the proper throwing motion, try to get them mechanically in synch.

Id like his throwing program and hitting program to be supervised as much as possible, especially at the beginning and he is swinging off the tee. He went up to 60 swings yesterday. Were hoping to increase that today.

Theres a throwing mechanic that wed like to see Carl use, which I would think would be proper. Theres a turn of the body, a step of the leg, a late rotation with the upper body rather than an early rotation with the upper body and thats a kind of a movement from the body to the top, a kinetic link from the feet to the place thats being propelled so wed just like him to start getting that linkage and so well do it and kind of go through the throwing motions.

We have the time and he asked to do it. He wanted to get his legs in the proper position, his body in the proper position, so we tried to design a little program.

The throwing program is an effort to prevent Crawford from doing too much at once and suffering a setback.

At the beginning I didn't know Carl that well and I had just heard about, Valentine said. I repeated what I had heard. I talked to Carl an awful lot and I think he understands what enough is and what progress we need to see every day and hes been great with it.

In spring training, when it was believed Crawford could return in late April or early May, Valentine had said hed like to see Crawford get about 50 at-bats in rehab games. Given the length of Crawfords absence, Valentine is unsure if that number will change.

If he was leading off and got five at-bats for 10 days I think that probably is a number that could work but Im not sure, Valentine said. Hell know when hes ready.

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

astros_yankees_102117.jpg

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

HOUSTON - Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday.