Allen Craig still has a long road back from knee surgery, but today he ran for the first time since having screws inserted into his kneecap in November.
“I was able to pick up the pace to a nice jog,” Craig told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “It wasn’t a run or a sprint, but it was a good jog.”
Craig still hasn’t been cleared to resume baseball activities and seems unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, but the Cardinals haven’t ruled that out yet.
Once healthy he’ll likely return in a part-time role, as the Cardinals signed Carlos Beltran to essentially replace Albert Pujols in the lineup and also have Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman at left field and first base.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.