Red Sox’ Kutter Crawford day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s game with left hamstring tightness

UPDATE: Prior to Thursday’s series finale, Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) that Kutter Crawford is day-to-day with tightness in his left hamstring. The right-hander will avoid the injured list for now.

Red Sox reliever Kutter Crawford left the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s 8-3 win over the Blue Jays with left hamstring tightness, the club announced.

Crawford entered Wednesday’s contest in the top of the eighth. The right-hander yielded a two-out single and walk before getting Daulton Varsho to ground out to escape the jam. He then came back out for the ninth and got leadoff man Alejandro Kirk to ground out to second base on the 12th pitch of a lengthy at-bat.

After retiring Kirk, it became clear that Crawford — who was pitching in cold and rainy conditions at Fenway Park — was in discomfort as he flexed and grabbed at his left hamstring. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry to emerge from the home dugout and check up on him.

Following a brief conference on the mound, Crawford departed with Henry and was replaced by Ryan Brasier, who recorded the final two outs of the game. When speaking with reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) shortly thereafter, Cora indicated that the Red Sox would know more about Crawford’s condition on Thursday.

“We’ll know probably, tomorrow, what’s going on,” said Cora.

Crawford, 27, opened the 2023 season in Boston’s starting rotation but has since emerged as a valuable multi-inning reliever out of the bullpen alongside Josh Winckowski. After being called back up from Triple-A Worcester on April 13, the hard-throwing righty came into play Wednesday having posted a 1.17 ERA and 3.50 FIP with 12 strikeouts to zero walks over four relief appearances spanning 15 innings of work.

As noted by Cotillo, the Red Sox already have five pitchers on the injured list in Zack Kelly, Wyatt Mills, James Paxton, Joely Rodriguez, and Garrett Whitlock. All three of Paxton, Rodriguez, and Whitlock are on the verge of returning to action, though.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford and Brandon Henry: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)


Red Sox reliever Joely Rodríguez has Grade 2 right oblique strain

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodriguez has a Grade 2 right oblique strain, manager Alex Cora announced Monday.

Rodriguez suffered a right side injury in the eighth inning of Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles at JetBlue Park. After throwing his 13th pitch, the left-hander grabbed at his side and was immediately taken out of the game.

While heading back to the clubhouse with a member of the the Red Sox’ training staff, Rodriguez could be heard groaning in discomfort. The club initially described the issue as right torso pain, but the southpaw underwent further imaging in the form of an MRI and received a more concrete diagnosis as a result.

When speaking with reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) following Monday’s 7-5 loss to the Pirates in Fort Myers, Cora could not provide a specific timetable for when Rodriguez could return to action.

“Timetable is whenever he’s ready,” Cora said. “We’ve just got to attack it and get him healthy.”

As noted by Speier, a Grade 2 — or moderate — oblique strain typically comes with a six-to-eight week shutdown period, meaning Rodriguez would not be ready to pitch in big-league games for another two-plus months. If that winds up being the case, that would be a tough blow for the 31-year-old after signing one-year deal with the Red Sox in November that guarantees $2 million and comes with a $4.25 million club option for 2024.

Rodriguez, who spent the 2022 season with the Mets, underwent minor shoulder surgery before signing with Boston in the fall. The Dominican-born hurler was expected to be ready for Opening Day and was being ramped up slowly this spring, but Monday’s news obviously changes that trajectory.

Now, the Red Sox will be tasked with identifying another lefty to pair with Richard Bleier out of the bullpen. Cora has already named Oddanier Mosqueda and Ryan Sherriff as two possible candidates, but he also ruled out using top pitching prospects such as Chris Murphy and Brandon Walter, who are slated to begin the year in Triple-A Worcester’s starting rotation.

Both Mosqueda and Sherriff were in camp as non-roster invitees earlier this spring. The former, who does not turn 24 until May, has allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings of Grapefruit League play but has yet to pitch above the Double-A level.

Sherriff, meanwhile, made his sixth appearance of the spring on Monday and struck out in a scoreless eighth inning. The 32-year-old has yet to a surrender an earned run across 5 2/3 frames and, unlike Mosqueda, has prior major-league experience.

The Red Sox, of course, could also look to the trade market or waiver wire if they want to add to their bullpen externally. Regardless of which route they take, placing Rodriguez on the 60-day injured list before Opening Day would clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

After being hit in face by pitch, Red Sox’ Justin Turner tweets: ‘I’m going to be back out on the field as soon as possible!’

After being hit in the face by a pitch in Monday’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers, Red Sox infielder Justin Turner took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to provide an update on how he was doing.

“Thanks to everyone for all the messages and prayers!” Turner tweeted. “I’m feeling very fortunate to come out of yesterday with no breaks & all my chiclets in tact. The [Red Sox] medical staff and [Lee Health] have been absolutely amazing & I’m going to be back out on the field as soon as possible!”

In the first inning of Monday’s contest at JetBlue Park, Turner took the first pitch he saw from Tigers right-hander Matt Manning — a fastball — off the left side of his face. The 38-year-old immediately fell to the ground and was quickly tended to by Red Sox manager Alex Cora and head trainer Brandon Henry.

Though he was bleeding heavily, Turner was able to get back on his feet under his own power and walked off the field while Henry held a towel to his face. He was then transported via ambulance to a Fort Myers-area hospital, where he received 16 stitches, according to his wife, Kourtney Turner. Kourtney also relayed on Twitter that her husband had a lot of swelling, but he had no fractures and his scans came back clean.

Turner was discharged from the hospital on Monday night and is back at home resting. When speaking with reporters (including The Eagle-Tribune’s Mac Cerullo) on Tuesday afternoon, Cora confirmed that there were no fractures and revealed that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom visited Turner earlier in the morning.

“We were lucky,” Cora said. “He’s in good spirits, actually Chaim visited him this morning. Obviously the big laceration and the stitches and all that, but besides that … like I said, we’re lucky.”

Cora added that Manning’s pitch hit Turner right next to his nose and right under his left eye. He could not provide a specific timetable for when Turner could return to action, but it sounds like the worst-case scenario has been avoided.

Turner, a veteran of 14 major-league seasons, joined the Red Sox as a free agent in January after a decorated tenure with the Dodgers. The two-time All-Star signed a one-year deal with Boston that guarantees him $15 million and includes a player option for 2024.

With J.D. Martinez leaving the Red Sox for the Dodgers in free agency earlier this winter, Turner is expected to take over as Boston’s primary designated hitter in 2023. As a right-handed hitter, Turner could also complement Triston Casas and Rafael Devers — who both hit from the left side of the plate — and first and third base, respectively.

Since Opening Day (March 30 against the Orioles) is just over three weeks away, Turner’s status will be something worth monitoring as spring training continues.

(Picture of Justin Turner: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Justin Turner taken to hospital after after being hit in face by pitch

UPDATE: Turner’s wife, Kourtney, tweets that her husband has been discharged from the hospital and is back at home resting. She adds that Turner received 16 stitches and while there is a lot of swelling, there are no fractures and all scans came back clean.

In the first inning of Monday’s 7-1 win over the Tigers at JetBlue Park, Red Sox infielder Justin Turner left the game after taking a pitch from Detroit starter Matt Manning off the face.

Turner, who was batting third and starting at first base, took the first pitch he saw from Manning off the left side of his face with no outs in the third. The 38-year-old immediately fell to the ground and was tended to by Red Sox manager Alex Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry.

Although he was bleeding heavily, Turner never appeared to lose consciousness. He was able to get back on his feet and walk off the field while Henry held a towel to his face. Niko Kavadas then came on to pinch-run for Turner, who was taken by ambulance to a Fort Myers-area hospital for treatment shortly thereafter.

At approximately 3:19 p.m. eastern time, the Red Sox issued an update regarding Turner’s status. It read: “Justin Turner was taken to a local hospital after being hit in the face by a pitch. He is receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries and is being monitored for a concussion. He will undergo further testing, and we’ll update as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert and in good spirits given the circumstances.”

Following Monday’s Grapefruit League contest, Cora reiterated to reporters (including’s Ian Browne) that Turner was alert and in good spirits. He then indicated that Manning’s pitch hit Turner somewhere between the nose and just above the mouth.

“Anything that is above the shoulders, it’s always scary,” Cora said. “So you hear [it], you go and you just react. There was a lot of blood there. So it was just like, ‘Let’s get everybody there and try to help him out.’ He was coherent.”

Manning, for his part, apologized for what happened when speaking with members of the Detroit media (including Chris McCosky of The Detroit News). The 25-year-old right-hander took responsibility and relayed that he did not intend to hit Turner.

“Just a complete accident. The ball got away from me,” Manning said. “I got a swing and miss on a ball up in the zone and tried to go back to it. It got away from me. I definitely want to apologize to him and let him know it wasn’t intentional.”

As of now, it is not yet clear how much time, if any, Turner will miss following Monday’s incident. the Red Sox signed the former Dodgers star to a a one-year deal back in January that comes with $15 million in guaranteed money and a player option for 2024.

Coming into camp this spring, Turner projected to be Boston’s starting designated hitter and a right-handed hitting option at first and third base to complement the left-handed hitting duo of Triston Casas and Rafael Devers.

Since Opening Day is just weeks away now, what transpired on Monday could throw a wrench into those plans. With that being said, it seems likely that more information pertaining to Turner’s health will be made available at some point before Tuesday night’s game against the Braves in North Port.

“Hopefully he’s OK and he can join us sooner rather than later,” said Cora.

(Picture of Justin Turner: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu strains left hamstring

Red Sox outfielder Wilyer Abreu suffered a left hamstring strain in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 4-1 League win over the Marlins at JetBlue Park.

Abreu entered the game in the top of the seventh as a defensive replacement for starting right fielder Alex Verdugo. The left-handed hitter led off the bottom half of the frame with a line-drive single off Marlins reliever Devin Smeltzer, but he rounded the first base bag awkwardly and was in clear discomfort as a result.

After getting checked out by Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a member of the team’s training staff, Abreu was lifted for pinch-runner Stephen Scott. The 23-year-old finished his day going 1-for-1 with a base hit in his lone plate appearance.

“Right before he stepped on the bag, he felt it,” Cora told reporters (including’s Ian Browne. “He felt it. He stopped right away, so that’s good. But he’ll be out for a while.”

Abreu becomes the third member of the Red Sox to sustain some sort of hamstring injury within the last week, joining catcher Connor Wong (Thursday) and left-hander James Paxton (Friday). Both Wong and Paxton have since been diagnosed with low-grade strains. It’s likely that more information regarding the severity of Abreu’s strain will become available on Monday.

The Red Sox originally acquired Abreu (and fellow prospect Enmanuel Valdez) from the Astros in the trade that sent catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston last August. Abreu closed out the 2022 season with Double-A Portland and batted .242/.399/.375 with five doubles, four home runs, 19 RBIs, 25 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 36 walks, and 45 strikeouts across 40 games (168 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs while seeing playing time at all three outfield positions.

After playing in the Arizona Fall League, Abreu was added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft. The native Venezuelan is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Prior to getting injured on Sunday, Abreu had gotten his first spring with the Red Sox off to a solid start by going 4-for-12 (.333) with a triple, a home run, four runs driven in, five runs scored, two walks, and four strikeouts in seven Grapefruit League games. He crushed a grand slam in Thursday’s 15-3 rout of the Phillies.

As of now, it remains to be seen just how much time Abreu will miss because of this hamstring strain. Abreu, who turns 24 in June, only has 129 career games at the Double-A level under his belt and is expected to return to Portland for the start of the 2023 minor-league season. Because he is on the 40-man roster, though, any sort of absence could have an affect on Boston’s outfield depth in the upper-minors to begin the year.

(Picture of Wilyer Abreu: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox’ James Paxton leaves first start of spring early with hamstring injury

James Paxton was scheduled to pitch two innings in his first start of the spring for the Red Sox against the Twins on Friday afternoon. The left-hander unfortunately fell short of that goal due to a right hamstring injury.

After recording the first two outs of the second inning at Hammond Stadium, Paxton could be seen grabbing at and stretching out his right hamstring in an attempt to loosen it up. That prompted a visit from Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a member of the team’s training staff.

Paxton, who to that point had retired all five batters he faced while recording one strikeout over 1 2/3 scoreless innings of work, then left the field with a trainer and was pulled from the game in favor of fellow lefty Rio Gomez.

“We’ll know tomorrow,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including’s Ian Browne) following Boston’s 9-4 win over Minnesota. “Obviously, not perfect. Hopefully it was just a cramp. I think obviously with him, we’ve got to be very careful. It’s a shame because he was throwing the [heck] out of the ball today. His location was great, velo was up. … And that happened. Hopefully it’s nothing and we can just continue to move on.”

Paxton himself said he first felt discomfort on his second-to-last pitch to Michael A. Taylor with one out in the second. He got the center fielder to fly out to left with his next offering, but was unable to continue after that despite only needing to get one more out.

“My hamstring just grabbed on me a little bit just as I was kind of starting to find that firing pin to let the ball go a little bit harder,” Paxton said. “I wanted to step on it a little bit and the hamstring just grabbed. We’ll see what we got. We don’t really know yet. But we’ll see how I come in feeling tomorrow and go from there.”

Of the 19 pitches Paxton threw on Friday, 12 went for strikes. He punched out Twins shortstop Carlos Correa as part of a 1-2-3 first inning and needed nine pitches to get the first two outs of the second. According to Baseball Savant, the 34-year-old southpaw topped out at 94.7 mph with his four-seam fastball.

“I think there’s positives and negatives,” Paxton said of his shortened outing. “I think that going out there and filling up the zone like I did felt good. Some good breaking balls, fastball felt pretty good. I felt like it was coming out of the hand well. But then this happens and now we’re gonna have to deal with this so that I can continue moving forward. I’ll do whatever I have to do to get back out there.”

Paxton has been with the Red Sox since signing with the club as a free agent in December 2021. At that time, the veteran hurler was about eight months removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery after making one start for the Mariners that season. He spent most of the 2022 campaign rehabbing before suffering a Grade 2 left lat tear in his first rehab outing in late August.

Given his recent injury history, Paxton elected to exercise his $4 million player option for 2023 and return to the Red Sox without any sort of limitations this spring. Even if this latest setback proves to be minor, Boston will undoubtedly exercise caution when it comes to Paxton’s health moving forward.

Paxton is one of seven candidates vying for five spots in the Red Sox’ Opening Day starting rotation alongside the likes of Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck. As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, though, Bello, Whitlock, and now Paxton have all been slowed by different issues this spring, which could put someone like Kutter Crawford into the rotation mix early this season.

Paxton said that he is unsure if he strained his hamstring or simply experienced a cramp. Regardless, he is disappointed and frustrated by what transpired on Friday.

“This is not how I wanted this to go,” said Paxton. “I wanted to go through spring training clean. But I can’t control that. All I can control is going to work on this now and doing whatever I can to get back out there and pitch again.”

(Picture of James Paxton: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)