Carl Crawford's Elbow Now a Concern: A Fantasy Owner's Take

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Carl Crawford's Elbow Now a Concern: A Fantasy Owner's Take
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Carl Crawford (injured) and Marco Scutaro (traded) are two catalysts the Red Sox sorely miss.

Through all the craziness of the Boston Red Sox early season woes, one piece of news was lost on Friday the 13th - Carl Crawford has a strained elbow as revealed by a recent MRI.

"This was the week I was scheduled to play games," stated Crawford. "It's just a little setback. It's just a strain and we're going to have to work on it a little bit. I'm guessing I'll be playing some games next week, hopefully. It was frustrating because I was looking forward to playing those games. It got pushed back a week, so I'll just have to wait a little longer and be patient."

However, here is the kicker - this problem has been relevant for Crawford since mid-spring but apparently went unreported. It appears to be a separate issue from his balky wrist which he is rehabbing.

For those who took a chance on Carl Crawford (myself included) the booby prize winner of your 2012 fantasy baseball draft may very well be you. Assuming Crawford intensifies baseball activities in a week to ten days, the earliest he would play in a major league game would be mid to late May or after a quarter of the season had ended.

This is not the news the Red Sox wanted or needed. They will continue to suffer offensively without an effective Carl Crawford in the lineup. Fantasy owners are also lamenting the mid-round pick they may have wasted on the underachieving outfielder.

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Since arriving in Boston, Crawford has been a disaster to put it mildly. He posted .255-11-56-65-18 numbers in 2011. To put his season in perspective, Kansas City Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur finished .285-20-87-77-22 and went undrafted in many leagues.

The logic for drafting Crawford rested in the fact he didn't need to be repeat his 2010 season (.307-19-90-110-47) to be a valuable mid-round draft pick. If he could somehow produce numbers somewhere between his 2010 and 2011 seasons (say, .275-15-75-95-28; numbers adjusted to reflect an entire season played) he would be a valuable commodity.

For the Red Sox this news arrives with particularly poor timing. Off to a 1-5 start, the offense lacks punch and needs a spark that none of their other left or right field options in Boston (Cody Ross, Darnell McDonald, Ryan Sweeney) are capable of producing. Fantasy owners of Crawford should not look to the Red Sox outfielders (Jacoby Ellsbury aside) for any significant help.

There is one area in which Crawford owners can take comfort - Boston needs him back probably worse than you do. They won't rush him but expect to see Carl Crawford in a Red Sox uniform as soon as he is ready to play.

Sources: Yahoo! Sports

Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Yankees fan and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.

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