Allen Craig has passed whatever tests he needed to pass, because Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced that the injured first baseman will be on the World Series roster after not playing since September 4 due to a foot injury.
Craig has been hitting for a while now, but the issue is whether his foot will allow him to run well enough to make a pinch-runner unnecessary. And it’s unclear if he’ll be more than a pinch-hitting option during the games in St. Louis without a designated hitter.
Either way, considering the weakness of the Cardinals’ bench getting Craig back at even a fraction of his healthy self will help. He hit .315 with 13 homers and an .830 OPS in 134 games during the regular season, including ridiculous numbers with runners in scoring position.
Matt Adams has hit .268 with one homer and a .724 OPS in 11 playoff games subbing for Craig at first base.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Rangers have signed pitcher Jesse Chavez. He’ll earn a $1 million base salary that will increase to $1.5 million if he’s added to the active roster, Heyman notes. The right-hander can earn an additional $500,000 in incentives as a reliever and $1 million in incentives as a starter.
Chavez, 34, struggled across 21 starts and 17 relief appearances for the Angels last season, finishing with a 5.35 ERA and a 119/45 K/BB ratio in 138 innings. He had decent peripherals, but has always allowed a high batting average on balls in play. Chavez has also been homer-prone in recent seasons which may only be exacerbated by the Rangers’ home ballpark.
The Rangers have Mike Minor and Matt Bush already clamoring for the fifth spot in the rotation, so it seems unlikely Chavez will open the year in the rotation. He could wind up there during the season, however, should any of the starters suffer an injury.