Carl Crawford: Why the Boston Red Sox Do Not Need the Speedster

Brian RoachCorrespondent IApril 26, 2012

Carl Crawford: Why the Boston Red Sox Do Not Need the Speedster

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    Carl Crawford is set to meet with Dr. James Andrew for a second opinion on his ailing left elbow and that could mean Tommy John surgery is in his future. ESPN Boston is reporting that Bobby Valentine is still trying to make an appointment with Andrews.

    This is not the end of the world for the Boston Red Sox. They have plenty of depth in the outfield with the likes of Ryan Sweeney and Ryan Kalish, once he is healthy, to roam left field. This injury may lead to Crawford being a huge bust, but that does not mean the Red Sox will be irrelevant in September due to one injury.

Ryan Sweeney Is on a Tear

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    Ryan Sweeney has started 2012 on the right foot. He has played almost impeccable defense and is second on the team in average with more than 10 at-bats. He has a .382 average and 10 of his hits have gone for extra bases.

    Sweeney has also been a clutch hitter for the Boston Red Sox having a huge triple in the ninth inning on the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers.

    He may not be one of the fastest outfielders, but he can still get the job done better than J.D. Drew ever did and actually is not afraid to get himself dirty and dive for the ball.

Jacoby Ellsbury Will Be Back Soon Enough

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    Jacoby Ellsbury finished second in the MVP voting in 2011 and the Boston Red Sox offense could use him once he is back to full health after separating his shoulder against the Tampa Bay Rays a couple weeks ago.

    With no timetable set for Ellsbury's return, the Red Sox offense is still one of the best in the American League and Mike Aviles has become the table-setter with four home runs and a .328 average through 16 games played.

    Ellsbury may be missed for his speed and power, but Sox fans should not worry too much with all the other problems with the bullpen and starters. The outfield may look like a mess, but this just means the other outfielders need to step up. So far, they have.

Cody Ross Plays Center

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    Cody Ross playing center is not ideal, but with Carl Crawford still not back, it basically fell into his lap. He does not have great speed and cannot make the diving, flashy catches that Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury can.

    His offense makes up for it.

    Ross leads the Boston Red Sox with five home runs and is tied with David Ortiz with the team lead in RBI with 15.

    His swing was built for Fenway Park and he now can showcase his talent on an everyday basis, instead of sharing time with Ryan Sweeney.

The Sox Have Other Outfielders

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    Darnell McDonald may not be a Carl Crawford, but at least he is a healthy body out in left field. He may be hitting .103 in 13 games played, but at least he has the potential to play everyday.

    Crawford's injury will lead to the call up of many young outfielders, such as Nate Spears and Jason Repko.

    Once Ryan Kalish returns from his injury, the Boston Red Sox will turn to him to start in left until Crawford is back from injury. Hopefully, that is not too long because the Sox still own the rights to Crawford for many years to come.

The Other Problems Are a More Glaring Issue

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    The most glaring issue that the Boston Red have is the bullpen. Luckily, the pitchers were able to stop the bleeding in a 7-6 win against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night after the score was 7-2 to begin the sixth.

    The bullpen was at its worst on Saturday against the New York Yankees when the lead was 9-1 and the Yankees were able to score 14 unanswered runs against the bullpen to win the game 15-9. All the runs were scored in the seventh and eighth innings and the bullpen allowed multiple home runs.

    This bullpen will be an adventure until Andrew Bailey returns midseason. If Bobby Valentine can figure which pitcher out there can pitch in certain situations faster than he has already, then maybe the bullpen will not be such an issue going forward.