When the Red Sox go for a four-game sweep of the Rangers on Sunday afternoon, right-hander Kutter Crawford will not take the Fenway Park mound as originally planned.
Crawford has instead been scratched from his start due to shoulder soreness, manager Alex Cora said following Saturday’s 5-3 win over Texas. Boston has yet to announce who will start in his place on Sunday.
The shoulder soreness Crawford is currently experiencing stems from him playing catch on Friday. The decision to scratch the 26-year-old was made out of an abundance of caution, as the Red Sox will know more about his status later Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
“He wasn’t moving well today after he played catch yesterday so we’re not going to push him,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) while adding that a stint on the injured list is a possibility.
With Crawford unable to go on Sunday, fellow righty Josh Winckowski is a candidate to start in his place. The 24-year-old was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on August 24, but has since been added to the big-league club’s taxi squad.
Winckowski last pitched for the WooSox one week ago Sunday, allowing four earned runs on five hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over four innings against the Syracuse Mets. In 13 starts for Boston this season, the 6-foot-4, 202-pound hurler owns an ERA of 5.83.
Crawford, who last pitched for the Red Sox in Minnesota on Tuesday, has posted a 5.47 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 77 strikeouts to 29 walks over 21 appearances (12 starts) spanning 77 1/3 innings of work this season. He has been tagged for 18 runs (17 earned) in his last three starts (12 2/3 innings) dating back Aug. 19.
As Cotillo suggested, Winckowski will likely be called up from Worcester if Crawford does indeed require a stay on the injured list. If he does not, Boston could elect to go in the direction of a bullpen game for Sunday’s series finale.
(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)