Carl Crawford: 7 Reasons His Horrid Start Is No Reason for Concern for Red Sox

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIApril 12, 2011

Carl Crawford: 7 Reasons His Horrid Start Is No Reason for Concern for Red Sox

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    FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 14:  Outfielder Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox fouls off a pitch against the New York Yankees during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at City of Palms Park on March 14, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Mer
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Carl Crawford has been abysmal so far this season for the Boston Red Sox. He has swung and missed at countless pitches and struggled to time breaking balls.

    He has not had the opportunity to steal bases because he has only been on base a handful of times, and Red Sox fans are beginning to panic that their team's multimillion-dollar investment might not pay off.

    Fans are concerned that Boston's big market or the change to Fenway Park has negatively affected Crawford.

    Yet slow starts are part of baseball. Just like the Red Sox started 0-6 but then won two of three against the New York Yankees, Crawford will begin to turn his season around in the near future.

Carl Crawford Starts Slow

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 07:  Carl Crawford #13 the Tampa Bay Rays waits in the dugout during Game 2 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on October 7, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    In two of his final three seasons in Tampa Bay, Carl Crawford was hitting under .200 on April 10, according to Brian MacPherson, the Red Sox beat writer for The Providence Journal. He maintained similar production numbers to his career averages in those seasons.

    Some players start slow. Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but his April ERA is substantially higher than league average throughout April (this year being the exception).

    Crawford happens to be one of those slow starters. As the weather gets warmer, expect Crawford's bat to heat up.

Carl Crawford Is Starting to Get Good Swings

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    FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 14:  Outfielder Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox fouls off a pitch against the New York Yankees during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at City of Palms Park on March 14, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Mer
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Crawford is starting to get good swings on the ball. Although he went 0-for-5 in Sunday's Yankee game, he had four loud outs that had Yankees pitchers flinching.

    When players slump, they can be unlucky. Baseball is a sport where you can hit the baseball perfectly and get an out. Screaming line drives often end up in fielders' gloves. When Crawford starts to come out of his funk, he'll be able to bloop singles in. It all evens out throughout the course of the season.

Carl Crawford Is Healthy

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    SARASOTA, FL - MARCH 05:  Outfielder Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox catches a fly ball against the Baltimore Orioles during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 5, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Ge
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Good players don't turn bad. Guys who have played baseball since Little League don't suddenly forget how to swing the bat.

    Players get bad when they are hurt, but so far there has been no indication at all that Crawford is not healthy. A healthy Crawford will hit. Crawford is healthy. Crawford will hit.

Carl Crawford Is Fast, and Speed Burns

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    CLEVELAND - APRIL 06:  Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox steals second base in front of Orlando Cabrera #20 of the Cleveland Indians during the game on April 6, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Speed doesn't slump. Carl Crawford is one of the fastest players in MLB.

    Whether it's beating out a ground ball to the infield for a hit, stealing a base after getting on after a walk or making a spectacular play in the outfield, Crawford's speed makes him a valuable asset to the team, even when he is struggling at the plate.

Terry Francona Will Decide on a Lineup, Eventually

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    FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Outfielder Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox takes batting practice during a Spring Training Workout Session at the Red Sox Player Development Complex on February 19, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Ge
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Carl Crawford has batted in four different spots so far this season. He began the season batting third and was dropped to seventh after it was apparent he was not hitting well. Since then, Francona has switched him to the second spot and leadoff.

    Crawford is a hitter who is used to hitting from one spot in the lineup. Francona will not keep shifting him around all year. Crawford will find his comfort zone and rhythm in the lineup.

This Has Happened Before

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 15:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees  reacts after he struck out in the second inningagainst the Texas Rangers in Game One of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 15, 2010 in
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    When big-name players join new teams only to find enormous expectations on their shoulders, they often struggle. Some of the best players of the last decade have succumbed to the pressure.

    Whether it's Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. or Mark Teixeira, Crawford is only the latest in a long line of great players to have a slow start to begin a career with a new team.

Carl Crawford Has a Track Record

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Carl Crawford ##13 of the Tampa Bay Rays grounds out in the first-inning against the New York Yankees on September 23, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Carl Crawford is a career .295 hitter, scoring at least 89 runs in a single season six times throughout his career. He led the league in steals four times with Tampa Bay, stealing at least 46 seven times in his career.

    Crawford's production has not been a problem throughout his career, and after going 2-for-5 last night against Tampa Bay, it seems better things are to come from Boston's latest superstar outfielder.