Cardinals first baseman-slash-outfielder Allen Craig has been cleared for more baseball activity, reports Brian Stull on Twitter. He has been sidelined since early September due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, ending the regular season with a .315/.373/.457 line and 97 RBI in 563 plate appearances.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has not ruled out using Craig as a DH should his team advance to the World Series, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Without Craig, the Cardinals have been using Matt Adams at first base. During the NLDS against the Pirates, Adams had six hits in 19 trips to the plate, including an eighth-inning two-run home run against Mark Melancon in Game 5. They will continue to use Adams at first base in the NLCS against the Dodgers.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.