Allen Craig was left off the NLCS roster because he’s not recovered from a broken foot, but the Cardinals are holding out hope that he can be available for the World Series and he took a step toward that goal yesterday.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Craig took live batting practice “with a handful of teammates cheering and chanting his name as he stepped to the plate.”
Langosch also notes that Craig did some running, but the Cardinals are being very careful with how much they ask him to do in terms of cardio and mobility for fear of aggravating the foot injury. He’s got some big hurdles to clear in the meantime, but having Craig available as a bench bat or maybe even as a designated hitter would be a nice boost for the World Series.
His first base fill-in, Matt Adams, had a big NLDS versus the Pirates but has started the NLCS in a 0-for-7 slump.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.