Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford could miss his team’s regular-season opener on April 1 after leaving the team’s spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz., to have his elbow examined in Los Angeles.
Recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery in August while a member of the Red Sox, Crawford felt nerve irritation in his left arm. The Dodgers said Friday he was examined a day earlier by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and told Crawford to rest.
Crawford was back in camp Friday and will not take batting practice or throw for about seven days, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Crawford will be able to participate in other drills.
‘‘Personally, I've been so anxious to get back out there,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘But my time will come.’’
Mattingly called the nerve irritation a ‘‘setback.’’
‘‘To be honest with you, Opening Day is a question,’’ Mattingly said
According to the Dodgers, Crawford has not suffered irritation in the repaired ligament. He began to feel the nerve irritation Tuesday, a day after taking batting practice.
Indians lose Perez
Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez could be sidelined one month because of a strained shoulder. The righthander will not throw for the 7-10 days, and will not compete for the United States in the World Baseball Classic. Once Perez resumes his throwing program, the Indians estimate he will be pitching in games in 3-4 weeks . . . Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was cleared of more serious issues after team doctors diagnosed a muscle strain in his chest. Cruz was sent to a hospital to rule out anything else, and the team said in a statement that several tests were negative and Cruz was being released after a stress test. He can resume baseball activities Saturday and is expected to join the Dominican Republic Sunday to play in the WBC.
Cano not distracted
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said his contract status is on his mind, though not a distraction. A day after general manager Brian Cashman said the team had made a significant offer during the offseason to Cano’s agent, Scott Boras, Cano declined to address the matter Friday but did say: ‘‘It’s never going to go out of your head.’’ Cano is is eligible for free agency after the World Series. ‘‘I don’t want to be a distraction to the team,’’ he added. ‘‘Just focus on playing baseball.” . . . Former Marlins great Mike Lowell said the team can win back fans after Miami’s latest roster purge, but it will take time. And he sympathizes with South Floridians angry the Marlins this season will be near baseball’s basement in payrolls — again. ‘‘Winning cures everything,’’ Lowell said from the team’s camp in Jupiter, Fla. ‘‘And there’s good talent here. It’s just, when does the talent pan out? Two years? Five years? One year? The fans want it to pan out now, which is normal.’’ Lowell said owner Jeffrey Loria’s history of shake-ups might also deter future free agents from considering Miami. “They’re going to think twice about it. It'll definitely be an issue,’’ said Lowell.
Ace shows form
Tigers ace Justin Verlander needed just 35 pitches to throw three perfect innings in a 6-2 exhibition loss to the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Verlander struck out three, including All-Star David Wright in the first inning. ‘‘If they would have let him keep going, this game would have been over in an hour and a half,’’ said Wright. “He’s in midseason form.” Mets starter Jonathon Niese also threw three scoreless innings in his exhibition debut . . . The Yankees suffered their seventh straight loss in the exhibition season, falling to the Phillies, 10-5, in Tampa. Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay allowed one run and three hits in 2⅓ innings. He threw 44 pitches in his second spring start . . . Josh Hamilton hit his first home run in an Angels uniform, connecting off Dodgers newcomer Hyun-Jin Ryu during the first inning of the Angels’ 16-8 exhibition victory over a split-squad team in Tempe, Ariz. . . . Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp, recovering from left shoulder surgery Oct. 5, played his first spring training game and finished 0 for 2 in his team’s split-squad exhibition loss to the Padres in Glendale, Ariz. Kemp, serving as the designated hitter, grounded out and struck out looking . . . The Reds signed veteran righthander Mark Prior to a minor league contract, reuniting him with his former manager with the Cubs, Dusty Baker. Prior, 32, made 19 relief appearances for the Red Sox’ Triple A team last season . . . The Rangers announced that Jon Daniels has been promoted to president of baseball operations/general manager.