Allen Craig expected to take batting practice Thursday


Good news here for the hobbled Cardinals.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-DispatchAllen Craig tested his strained left hamstring Wednesday with “some running” and is planning to take batting practice on the field before Thursday’s series-opener against the Phillies.

Craig has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 17 and is eligible to be activated on June 1.

The 27-year-old first baseman and corner outfielder is batting .373/.424/.765 with five home runs, five doubles and 19 RBI in just 59 plate appearances this season. St. Louis currently has a half-game lead over the Reds in the National League Central standings.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.