Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pena to DL, OK. If it was CC? Yikes!

Seeing Carlos Pena headed to the disabled list with a broken index finger should not alarm Rays fan.

What should have scared them to death was the news Carl Crawford’s trip to Boston detoured through Alabama where he was examined by Dr. James Andrews.

The problem is a balky right knee and right hamstring that Crawford injured during Thursday's game with Chicago.

Having Pena out of the lineup for a couple of weeks won’t hurt the Rays too much. He’s not hitting, so it’s not like the offense will take much of a hit. They will miss his glove, though. I thought Pena was having a Gold Glove-caliber season. Eric Hinske is a capable replacement but not on par with Pena when it comes to defense.

Also, the rest might help Pena shake this slump that’s now entering its third month.

But Crawford?

His absence from the lineup for an extended time would really hurt.

While Crawford is not having his typical Carl Crawford season at the plate, he can still get on base and make things happen.

And his defense? Crawford is the best defensive left fielder in the American League. Take him away from the Rays lineup and that is one hole they can not plug.

Thankfully, Crawford’s MRI was negative.

Let’s hope it is not an injury that lingers through the summer, because the Rays need Carl Crawford to be Carl Crawford if they hope to continue playing like a playoff contender.

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