Crawford likely to miss rest of series
Outfielder says stiff back restricts his playing ability
TORONTO -- Carl Crawford was not in the lineup Tuesday night because of his stiff back, and it's not likely he will return to action before the Rays begin a four-game series with Detroit on Friday night.
"I'm pretty sure these next two days I won't be playing," Crawford said. "Hopefully by the time we play Detroit, depending on how I'm feeling. I don't know how I'll be feeling by then.
"I'm hoping I'll be able to do what I do. If I can't play the way I want to play, obviously I'm not going to play. But hopefully I'll be ready by Detroit."
Manager Joe Maddon said Ron Porterfield, the Rays' head athletic trainer, told him that Crawford's injury is nothing severe.
"I can understand from Carl's perspective never having had [a back problem] before, it's kind of concerning," Maddon said. "But at this point, medically, we feel OK about it."
Crawford left Monday night's game prior to taking the field in the bottom of the third inning when his back tightened up and he felt pain. He still can't pinpoint how the injury occurred.
"The only time I felt it was when I was getting set in the outfield, and I couldn't pop up the way I wanted to," Crawford said. "And then I knew something was wrong. I couldn't get in that position."
When he could not make a play in the field that he thought he should have made, he knew he needed to leave the game.
Crawford reported that the injury still feels like it did Monday and that he has been receiving treatments.
"Hopefully that helps at some point," Crawford said.
Crawford has not had an MRI and said he won't have one unless the back isn't any better by the time the team gets to Detroit.
The Rays have 13 pitchers on their 25-man roster, which leaves the bench a little thin since one of the players, Crawford, can't play. Maddon said it's not panic time yet, but if Crawford doesn't get better soon, the Rays might have to pull the trigger to bring up an outfielder from Triple-A Durham. Matt Joyce and Fernando Perez would be the most likely candidates.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.