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Are We Gaining Confidence In Carl Crawford?

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Thanks to Jared for the idea.

Today, I linked to a Gordon Edes article which was suggesting that Carl Crawford be moved up in the Red Sox' batting order. The basic argument is this: May is a new month, and Terry Francona should show he has faith in Carl Crawford with a quick bump back into the a top-3 spot in the lineup.

Now, I'm as much a Carl Crawford supporter as anyone. More than most, I'd venture to say, after his April woes drove some folks away. I'm loving how May has started for him between the walkoff single and four hits in eight at bats. But come on, this is at the very least jumping the gun.

It would be one thing if Crawford were on a streak that extended back into April some, but between now and his last burst of offense--also a 4-for-8 performance back on the 23rd and 24th--Crawford went 1-for-15 at the plate. And it's not just a matter of keeping a cold bat away from the top of the lineup, it's also the fact that this would seem to be less a show of confidence, and more a show of expectations. "Ok, Carl, that's four hits. Now give us more." Nothing like bringing the pressure back before he's had time to settle in for real.

Still, it's not hard to see why Edes would want to throw Crawford back into the fray. This is a man the Red Sox spent well over $100 million on. We want him to produce offensively like we expect a $100 million man to produce. We've seen his glove provide more than a few good outs this past week (he eliminated a massively negative UZR in just about 10 games; time) and, with the strikeouts having come down of late, he's just plain looking better offensively, even with a .209 BABIP still frustrating him. There are plenty of reasons to look at Carl Crawford and see a player finding his stride.

So what say you, OTM? How are you feeling about Carl?