Redskins

Dodgers welcome Crawford 2 months after trade

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Dodgers welcome Crawford 2 months after trade

LOS ANGELES (AP) Carl Crawford slipped his new No. 25 jersey over his head, finally having joined the Los Angeles Dodgers two months after the blockbuster trade from Boston that left him as the forgotten $100 million man.

``Feels good,'' he said, smiling at his introduction Friday.

Crawford had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow two days before the Aug. 25 trade that shook up clubhouses in two cities. The left fielder never suited up for the Dodgers and went home to Houston to rehab while new acquisitions Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett quickly made their presence felt.

``Adrian was definitely one of the centerpieces of that trade,'' Crawford said. ``I'm pretty sure once I start playing I won't be the forgotten guy.''

Crawford is due $102.5 million over the next five seasons. The 31-year-old hit .282 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 31 games with the Red Sox before his season-ending second surgery. He had his left wrist operated on in January.

He said he's ahead of schedule in his rehab and that he's shooting to be ready by spring training. However, Crawford cannot throw or swing a bat until January.

``Offensively, he'll be able to hit far sooner than he'll be able to throw,'' general manager Ned Colletti said. ``The question will be how fast his arm can come back to major league (level). We have five months yet to have him heal.''

In addition to Crawford, Matt Kemp is coming off of left shoulder surgery earlier this month, leaving the Dodgers with two-thirds of their outfield in rehab mode. Colletti said he's confident that both will be up to speed by the end of spring training.

Crawford is eager to make a fresh start in Los Angeles after two disappointing seasons in Boston, where he had signed a seven-year, $142 million deal. He was a four-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, where he played nine seasons.

``Things didn't work out as planned in Boston,'' he said. ``I didn't do my part. When a player doesn't do his part usually it doesn't work out.

``I'm a competitive guy, so I hate to say I failed at something. It's good to get a second chance. I'm definitely motivated to play the best baseball I can.''

Crawford said he should have listened to a doctor's advice to have elbow surgery earlier this year, instead of waiting until Aug. 23.

``Maybe I should have took care of myself when the doctor told me to,'' he said. ``You have surgery and you get looked at as soft or somebody just trying to take money from them. It's one of those things where you live and learn.''

Crawford has a .292 batting average, 118 home runs and 667 RBIs entering his 12th major league season. He led the American League in steals for four seasons in Tampa Bay.

``This kid a couple years ago was one of the most highly sought after free agents in baseball. Sometimes you need a fresh start,'' Colletti said. ``He's still a very dynamic player. His ability to create things offensively with his speed and his ability to hit is a good combination.''

Colletti said he remains focused on upgrading the bullpen and adding a starting pitcher. The Dodgers are still interviewing candidates for hitting coach, a job left vacant when Dave Hansen was fired earlier this month.

Outfielder Yasiel Puig, who signed a $42 million, seven-year contract this summer, will play winter ball in Puerto Rico, although his prospects of making the big-league roster remain unknown. He is recovering from a staph infection in the back of his right elbow.

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Need to Know: A good sign for the Redskins’ running game?

Need to Know: A good sign for the Redskins’ running game?

Here is what you need to know on Sunday, August 19, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Broncos in their third preseason game. 

Talking points

A year ago, there was tremendous concern about the Redskins’ rushing game. In their first two preseason games in 2017 when the games were the Redskins’ first-team offense against the other team’s starters on defense, Washington gained 13 yards on 13 carries. In the first halves of those games, which were played mostly with players on both sides who would end up making the roster the total was 21 attempts for 20 yards. 

At the time, the company line was to downplay the problems. 

“I’m just not worried,” said Trent Williams.

“It’s going to take time and it’s going to take plus-one, plus-two, negative-one, then you get a plus-eight. And things to pop. It’s attrition. Nothing’s going to happen just because you want it to.”

As we now know, the Redskins rushing game never really got going. Certainly, injuries to backs Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson and to the entire offensive line contributed heavily to their No. 27 ranking in rushing yards. But a look at the preseason could indicate that the building blocks for an effective rushing game just weren’t in place. 

Things are looking better this year. In two preseason games, the Redskins have rushed for 216 yards. In the first halves of the games, they have 31 attempts for 109 yards. That’s not a great average (3.5 yards per carry) but it is a vast improvement on the sub-one yard per carrying average they had through two games last year. 

Let’s not get carried away here. Preseason numbers aren’t rock-solid indicators by any stretch and even if they were we are looking at a small sample size. Still, the preseason stats are what we have to look at right now. We will see how things develop.  

Bureau of statistics

In 2017 the Redskins averaged 123 rushing yards per game in their first five games. In their last 11 games, they averaged 76 per game. 

On the record

Jay Gruden on the returns of RBs Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine from ankle injuries: "There are no reports really, we'll just wait and see. Every injury is different, and we'll play it by ear and see how long it takes . . . The injury report will come out Week 1 on - when is it, Wednesday? And there you have it."

Comment: Yes, this really was Gruden and not Bill Belichick. The whole organization has been tighter with injury information in general this year. We’re getting a lot of descriptions like “lower leg” rather than ankle or toe. If that’s the way they want to do business that’s fine but be advised as a fan that you are not going to get much information. 

The agenda

Today: Practice at Redskins Park 1:50; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 3:00

Upcoming: Preseason Broncos @ Redskins (Aug. 24) 5 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 13 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 21 days

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page,Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

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Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

More Redskins news

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-AnalysisFive Redskins-Jets observations

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler