From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford has had season-ending surgery on his left elbow.The procedure to replace the torn ulnar collateral ligament in Crawford's throwing arm was performed Thursday by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. The Red Sox said they expect Crawford to make a full recovery, estimated to take six to nine months.Crawford, who could be ready by spring training, is in the second season of a seven-year, 142 million contract with Boston. He hit. 282 with three homers and 19 RBIs after batting .255 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs last year.He missed the first 89 games this season while recovering from left wrist surgery, then hurt his elbow in April while rehabbing. He came off the disabled list July 16.
It still feels like the season just ended, but with the draft and free agency already behind us, it's time to look forward to the 2016-17 season. We will preview every team in the NHL throughout August and take a look at what the new season may hold.
Team: New Jersey Devils
How they did last season: 38-36-8 (84 points), 7th in the Metropolitan, 12th in the Eastern Conference. Did not make the playoffs.
Notable acquisitions: C Vernon Fiddler, D Ben Lovejoy, LW Taylor Hall, RW Beau Bennett, D Brandon Gormley
Notable departures: D David Schlemko, D Adam Larsson
When they will play the Caps: Dec. 29 in Washington; Dec. 31 in New Jersey; Jan. 26 in New Jersey; March 2 in Washington
Analysis: The New Jersey Devils have finished in the bottom four in terms of goals per game in each of the past four seasons and finally bottomed out in 2015-16, finishing dead last with only 2.22 goals per game. So the Devils’ priority this offseason was no secret, they needed to get better offensively.
To address that, the Devils pulled off one of the biggest heists of the offseason, acquiring Taylor Hall, a player who has registered 50 or more points in four of his six NHL seasons, for defenseman Adam Larsson.
That’s a steal. With all due respect to Larsson, the fact that general manager Ray Shero was able to get Hall without giving up more than just one player is stunning.
There’s also hope that prospect Pavel Zacha, the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft, will be able to make the jump to the NHL this year. Don’t expect the Devils to turn into the 2010 Caps, but there’s no reason to expect them to remain among the league’s worst offenses either.
As good as the trade for Hall was, the downside is that the defense in New Jersey will likely take a step back. Larsson was among the team’s top defensemen last season and was second on the Devils in ice time. Having a goalie like Corey Schneider, however, will certainly help. While a team never wants to rely on a goalie to carry a defense, it’s easier to mask a bad defense with a good goalie than it is to mask a bad offense with...well, a good goalie.
Season prediction: New Jersey had no scoring last season in John Hynes' first season as head coach, but that was a roster issue, not a coaching one. In fact, the Devils were much more competitive than I anticipated given the team’s roster and finished just 12 points out of the last playoff spot.
There’s no question the defense has taken a step back, but the offense has taken a major step forward. It’s up to Hynes now to show what he can do with it.
This roster is still not good enough to reach the playoffs, but the Devils look like they are headed in the right direction.
2016-2017 NHL TEAM PREVIEWS
— Carolina Hurricanes
— Columbus Blue Jackets
— New York Islanders (coming Aug. 26)
— New York Rangers (coming Aug. 27)
— Philadelphia Flyers (coming Aug. 28)
— Pittsburgh Penguins (coming Aug. 29)
— Washington Capitals (coming Aug. 30)
OWINGS MILLS – Add outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith to the list of Ravens not expected to play Saturday night. Head coach John Harbaugh said Smith had an ankle issue that would keep him out against the Lions. Smith was not at practice Thursday.
Others not expected to play against the Lions include outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, left guard John Urschel, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, safety Kendrick Lewis, cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Jerraud Powers, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. All of them are at various stages of dealing with injuries.
Perriman returned to practice this week, but head coach John Harbaugh did not commit to playing Perriman after Thursday’s walkthrough practice.
“We’ll see, it’s up to the doctors,” Harbaugh said of Perriman. “He hasn’t gone full speed in practice yet. Today was not a full speed practice for anybody.”
Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is not expected to play either, because he just returned to practice this week after offseason foot surgery. With Suggs, Dumervil, and Smith out of the lineup, Saturday should present an opportunity for pass rushers like Matt Judon, Chris Carter, and Victor Ochi to get extra reps.
MORE RAVENS: PERRIMAN HOPES TO IMPRESS WITH SPEED AND HANDS
Nats (73-53) at Orioles (70-56) at Nationals Park
The Nationals' series against the Orioles has been quite lopsided so far through three games, with Baltimore taking each of them in relatively convincing fashion. The Nats mounted a comeback in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, but fell just short. Now they will aim to avoid a four-game sweep on Thursday night.
Max Scherzer (13-7, 3.05) will get the ball for Washington in his 27th start of the season. He's looking to bounce back from a four-run outing against the Braves his last time out. Scherzer last faced the Orioles on July 12 of 2015 when he tossed 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball at Camden Yards.
Pitching for Baltimore will be right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (5-10, 6.94). He has had a horrendous season, but he's got a very good history against the Nats with a 2.32 ERA through eight starts. Last season he threw six innings with zero earned runs allowed on Sept. 22 of last year.
First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Max Scherzer vs. Orioles - Ubaldo Jimenez
CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Max Scherzer
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez