Red Sox

Crawford looks good in Pawtucket

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Crawford looks good in Pawtucket

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
PAWTUCKET, R.I. Left fielder Carl Crawford took another step Friday night as he makes his way back from a strained left hamstring that has kept him on the disabled list since June 18. Crawford, who injured his leg running out a first-inning single June 17 against the Brewers, played in his first rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket, against the Durham Bulls, the International League affiliate of his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Crawford batted third, and played five innings in left field. He went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.

Facing Bulls starter, left-hander Alex Torres, in the first inning, Crawford singled to short center field, scoring Che-Hsuan Lin.

Its all about the timing, said Crawford, who has never had a hamstring injury before. You got a lefty throwing pretty hard. So I tried to see a few pitches. Make that adjustment I need to make. So, its a little challenging but I was able to make a few adjustments.

The most important thing was just being able to get out of the box like I normally can and move quick without worrying about my hamstring. I had a few moments today where I was able to test it.

He had just one chance in the field, a fly ball by J.J. Furmaniak in the fourth inning. In the third inning, after drawing a walk against right-hander Lance Cormier, Crawford broke for second on a hit-and-run with Ryan Lavarnway at the plate.

That felt great, Crawford said. I had some time where I had a chance to test it. I had a chance to test it in the outfield and it felt good.

In the fifth, Crawford hit into a fielders choice, erasing Daniel Nava at second base. Crawford then scored on Lavarnways eighth home run, a blast to left field. Crawford was done after that, with Nava replacing him in the field, Ronald Bermudez taking his spot in the lineup.

Were just trying to get my legs back under me right now and we didnt see the need to play nine innings, Crawford said. So I was able to do a few things that I can do in the big leagues. Thats what I need to do.

In 67 games with the Sox, Crawford is hitting .243 with six home runs, 31 RBI, and eight stolen bases in 12 attempts. He is expected to play left field again for the PawSox on Saturday.

Im going to play Saturday no matter what unless something just really bad happens, he said. But as of now I dont think thatll happen.

Just see if I can do it two days in a row. Just want to do everything two days in a row, make sure theres no pain. And then after that happens Ill be ready to go.

After that he is expected to travel to Baltimore on Sunday and join the Red Sox for their three-game series against the Orioles on Monday.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

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Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Coming off a phenomenal season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel spent the offseason in Boston. Not to be closer to Fenway Park, but for proximity to something far more important: the city’s first-rate medical community.

Kimbrel’s daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with a heart issue.

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“It’s been a lot,” Kimbrel said Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods. “My wife and I, we’ve kept it kind of private. But when she was born, she had some heart defects so we decided to stay in Boston and work with Children’s Hospital and just been going through that ordeal and it’s had its ups and downs but she’s doing great right now."

Focusing wasn't always easy in season, but Kimbrel said his daughter's condition has motivated him even more.

“They always say when you have a child, things change and they have," he said. "I’m definitely more focused towards her and her needs and our family needs. It’s just one day at a time and give everything I got. It’s real easy to look at her and understand everything I’m doing is for her and it makes it a lot easier.”

Kimbrel and his wife, Ashley, found out early in the 2017 season that they would be staying in Boston for the winter and were preparing.

“Everything has kind of gone as planned so far,” Kimbrel said. “She’ll have another surgery during spring training, so I’ll come back to Boston for a week and do that, but it’s been good. It’s definitely been tough, but one of the happiest, joyful times of our life.”

"Being in Boston, we feel blessed, because the doctors are the best in the world. Being able to work with them has been great.”

Kimbrel said his wife has stayed in touch with Travis Shaw’s wife. The Shaw family has had a similar experience, Kimbrel said.

“It seems like they’re doing pretty good,” Kimbrel said. “It’s been very encouraging to see.”

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