Tag: Allen Craig

allen craig getty

Allen Craig clears waivers after being dropped from 40-man roster, stays with Red Sox at Triple-A


First baseman/outfielder Allen Craig and his contract predictably cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox. He’ll stay with the organization at Triple-A, but is no longer on the 40-man roster.

The procedural move gives the Red Sox some 40-man roster wiggle room while they try to get Craig back on track in the minors. If he convinces them he’s ready to contribute positively in the majors again they can simply re-add him to the 40-man roster and call him up.

Craig was an All-Star for the Cardinals in 2013, but he’s been a mess since then and has hit just .130 in 53 games for the Red Sox. Few hitters in recent memory have gone from All-Star caliber to a totally lost cause quicker than Craig, but he’s signed through 2017 and owed another $25 million or so.

The best and worst MLB lineups have had to offer so far

Dee Gordon

This is a quick look at lineup spots by team through the first five weeks of the season, which have been the most productive and which have been the least. I’m just using OPS, so don’t take this as a study of any sort.

No. 1 hitters
1. Marlins – .894 (.422 OBP)
2. Cardinals – .894 (.387 OBP)
3. Rockies – .880 (.359 OBP)

league avg – .727 (.326 OBP)

28. White Sox – .580 (.287 OBP)
29. Reds – .500 (.233 OBP)
30. Athletics – .487 (.223 OBP)

The Marlins and Yankees are the lone teams getting a .400 OBP from the leadoff spot this year, and while that’s always been the ideal to shoot for, there’s hardly any chance of any team staying that high all season. Last year, only the Cardinals (.369) and Astros (.353) had even .350 OBPs from the leadoff spot.

No. 2 hitters
1. Reds – 1.084
2. Blue Jays – 1.001
3. Angels – .939

league avg – .751

28. Rangers – .560
29. Braves – .551
30. Brewers – .489

The Reds started off with Joey Votto batting second, and he was awesome, amassing an 1.173 OPS with a .474 OBP, six homers and 15 RBI in 17 games. So, of course, they dropped him back to third. Fortunately, Zack Cozart and Marlon Byrd have been pretty great in the two hole themselves, but that’s not going to last.

No. 3 hitters
1. Diamondbacks – 1.074
2. Cubs – 1.056
3. Dodgers – 1.045

league avg – .803

28. Nationals – .614
29. Rays – .557
30. Phillies – .515

The Diamondbacks are exclusively Paul Goldschmidt: he’s started all 32 games batting third.

No. 4 hitters
1. Mariners – 1.155
2. Nationals – .986
3. Royals – .975

league avg – .778

28. Twins – .608
29. Phillies – .576
30. Angels – .574

And the Mariners are all Nelson Cruz: he’s started every game in the cleanup spot and blown away the field.

What’s shocking, or at least would have been over the winter, is that this is the first of four appearances for the Angels in the bottom trio. The cleanup spot used to be Josh Hamilton’s. Now it’s 16 games from David Freese, 12 from Matt Joyce and five from Kole Calhoun (whom they much prefer hitting leadoff).

No. 5 hitters
1. Rockies – .949
2. Athletics – .949
3. Cubs – .846

league avg – .737

28. Angels – .614
29. Phillies – .588
30. Yankees – .576

Just because of the difference in hitting environments, Oakland’s .949 is more impressive than Colorado’s .949. They’re primary No. 5 hitter, Ike Davis, is at .867, but Stephen Vogt has provided quite a boost, with five homers in eight games batting fifth.

No. 6 hitters
1. Yankees – 1.023
2. Royals – .930
3. Dodgers – .869

league avg – .722

28. Cardinals – .549
29. Red Sox – .546
30. Reds – .535

The Yankees being dead last at No. 5 and way out in front at No. 6 is some sort of bizarre fluke. Brian McCann, primarily the No. 5 hitter, has a respectable .704 OPS in 21 games there, but Carlos Beltran (.407 in seven games) and Chase Headley (.435 in four games) have been horrible, dragging it down. On the other hand, both Beltran (.848 in nine games) and Headley (.824 in nine games) have been just fine as No. 6 hitters and they’re further bolstered by Chris Young (1.271 OPS, four HR in seven games) and Alex Rodriguez (2.528 OPS, three HR in three games)

No. 7 hitters
1. Dodgers – .933
2. White Sox – .828
3. Orioles – .787

league avg – .658

28. Red Sox – .434
29. Rangers – .425
30. Angels – .423

It’s the third of four appearances for the Dodgers in the top three. This one is truly a committee. Juan Uribe has started 15 of 32 games as a No. 7 hitter, but he has a modest .668 OPS. Alex Guerrero, Andre Ethier, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson have combined for 15 starts and hit .444 with five homers in 54 at-bats.

Boston, which entered the year with seemingly the game’s deepest lineup, shows up near the bottom for the second straight spot, courtesy of Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Allen Craig. Their No. 7 hitters have combined for seven RBI in 33 games, five of them coming in Daniel Nava’s six starts.

No. 8 hitters
1. Reds – .932
2. Dodgers – .898
3. Marlins – .846

league avg – .673

28. Diamondbacks – .474
29. Angels – .392
30. Cubs – .297

The Reds take the cake for the most inconsistency by lineup spot this year. They top the list at No. 2 and No. 8 while also being last at No. 6 and next to last at No. 1. They don’t have any lineup spot in the .700-.800 OPS range. Their presence here is Cozart doing Cozart things, with some help from Brayan Pena. Even Skip Schumaker went 3-for-5 with two RBI in his one game batting eighth and he’s 4-for-27 with no RBI over the rest of the year.

The Cubs at No. 30 gets a big asterisk here; they’ve exclusively gone with their pitcher batting eighth. For the record, their No. 9 hitters have a .630 OPS.

No. 9 hitters (AL only)
1. Angels – .721
2. Blue Jays – .671
3. Tigers – .648

league avg – .583

13. Royals – .484
14. Rays – .480
15. Indians – .476

We’re taking the NL teams out of this mix and just looking at the AL squads. Oddly enough, the Angels top the list; their No. 9 hitters, mostly Johnny Giavotella, have a higher OPS than any of the spots from No. 3 through No. 8.

So, the absolute best of the lineups to date:

1. Marlins – Dee Gordon
2. Reds – Joey Votto
3. Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
4. Mariners – Nelson Cruz
5. Rockies – Nolan Arenado
6. Yankees – Chris Young
7. Dodgers – Alex Guerrero
8. Reds – Zack Cozart
9. Angels – Johnny Giavotella

Red Sox option Allen Craig to AAA Pawtucket

Screenshot 2015-05-10 at 9.35.27 AM

The move is official, via beat writer Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe …

Craig went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Saturday’s loss to the Blue Jays, dropping his season slash line to .135/.237/.192. Since last year’s trade that sent him from St. Louis to Boston, the 30-year-old outfielder is batting .130/.235/.192 with 53 strikeouts in 166 plate appearances. This from a guy who ranked among the most productive hitters in baseball between 2011-2013. Craig really hasn’t been the same since suffering a Lisfranc injury while running the bases in late 2013. And the Red Sox still owe him $26.5 million.

Joe Kelly, the other piece from that trade with the Cardinals, walked seven batters and surrendered six earned runs over 5 2/3 innings Saturday in Toronto. He has a 6.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in six outings this year. John Lackey, meanwhile, boasts a 3.20 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in six starts for St. Louis. On a $507,000 salary.

Red Sox expected to option Allen Craig to Triple-A

Allen Craig

Update (7:48 PM EST): Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox will option Craig to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Red Sox are expected to do something with struggling outfielder Allen Craig by Sunday, Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. “Something” could include a trade or an option to the minor leagues. As Craig has yet to accrue five years of service time, the Red Sox can option him without his consent.

Craig, 30, joined the Red Sox along with starter Joe Kelly in the John Lackey trade at the deadline last season. He struggled in 107 plate appearances with the Red Sox through the end of the regular season, posting a .425 OPS. He hasn’t been any better to start the 2015 campaign, batting .146/.255/.208 with one home run and two RBI in 55 PA.

Craig signed a five-year, $31 million contract extension with the Cardinals in March 2013. He’ll earn $5.5 million this season and a combined $34 million between 2016-18.

Red Sox call up Jackie Bradley Jr. from Triple-A

Jackie Bradley Jr

Swapping out knuckleballer Steven Wright for an extra position player, the Red Sox have called up last year’s first half starting center fielder, Jackie Bradley Jr., from Triple-A.

Bradley has struggled mightily in the majors, hitting .196 in 164 games, but the former top prospect is still just 25 years old and he was off to a nice start at Triple-A.

Mookie Betts has started 18 of 20 games in center field, but with Shane Victorino injured and both Allen Craig and Daniel Nava hitting below .200 the Red Sox wanted some added outfield depth.