The Cardinals ruled out a left foot fracture for Allen Craig last week, but he’s still a little while away from returning to the starting lineup.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said that Craig was re-evaluated earlier today and will remain in a walking boot for another week. It was described as a precautionary measure more than anything else, as doctors don’t want him to push it and aggravate the injury.
“Obviously he got re-evaluated today. You may actually see him in a boot. There’s nothing for alarm. They just feel like he’s still at a volatile stage in the sense that as he’s improving they don’t want him to have a setback by being in a tennis shoe or running shoe. So for the next week or so he’ll be in this soft boot. Everything is positive. When this injury occurred we did not know when to expect him back. We still don’t know exactly. But we’re optimistic that he’ll play this year.”
Craig has thrived as the Cardinals’ primary cleanup hitter this season, batting .315/.373/.457 with 13 home runs and 97 RBI in 134 games. He is missed right now, though St. Louis is fortunate to have Matt Adams as a fill-in option at first base.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.