BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox sit at .500 as they await to begin their second half of the 2012 season Friday night in Tampa.

CSNNE’s Sean McAdam joined Gresh & Zolak Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming second half of the season, and what fans can expect from the Red Sox — both on and off the field.

On the field, Boston will be getting Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford back over the next few days. What are reasonable expectations for these star outfielders as they come back from missing a significant amount of time?

“I think its been sort of hung out there like a carrot for as long as Ellsbury went down in the home opener that if they could just hang around until these two guys get back (they could make a run). I think people have been conditioning into thinking these guys return and they are going to turn on their jets; get right back into it. I don’t know if that’s a realistic expectation,” said McAdam.

Read: Crawford To Begin Rehab With PawSox Thursday Night

While Ellsbury shouldn’t have too hard a time bouncing back from his shoulder injury, especially after his MVP-runner up performance of last season, fans may have to curb their expectations for Crawford.

“To think that he is just going to flip some switch and not only come back and be a healthy Carl Crawford, but a Carl Crawford that produces like he used to in Tampa Bay, that’s a big leap forward from the guy we saw last year,” said McAdam. “I would temper expectations for Crawford. I think he has to be comfortable and manage that elbow the rest of the way.”

It’s too early to rule this team out completely, especially with two wild card slots in the mix, but McAdam admits the Sox do have a very tough schedule out of the shoot. With that in mind, how will the Red Sox approach the July 31st trade deadline?

“The one thing I would not expect is for them to make the typical July 31st deal where a big market team unloads prospects for a short-term rental,” he said. “I don’t think that kind of deal is going to happen. If you have your fingers crossed they end up with Matt Garza, you’re going to be disappointed. But could they move somebody off the roster like Lester? Yeah, but I think that’s a longshot.”

Roche: Second Half Hinges On Rotation

“I think it’s more likely they do a series of small to medium things — like trade an extra outfielder like Nava or Sweeney, possibly Podsednik –or move a bullpen arm; capitalize on a guy like Albers whose stock is high right now,” said McAdam. “I don’t think you’ll see any sort of white flag waiving where they are unloading everything and everything and taking 50-cents on the dollar. But I think they could be moving some spare parts, maybe looking to do something bigger to shake up the roster, or maybe doing smaller things like get some more starting pitching depth to give them more options over the final 2 ½ months.”

Also, what does McAdam think of Red Sox players defending themselves on Twitter recently. Does it show a fire in the team we haven’t seen this season? And will Adrian Gonzalez every get right at the plate again? Sean McAdam breaks it down with Gresh & Zo!


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