Allen Craig close to beginning rehab assignment

5 Comments

Lance Berkman is on the disabled list with a partially torn calf and Jon Jay exited today’s game with a shoulder injury, but at least one Cardinals hitter has some positive health news.

Allen Craig has progressed enough from offseason knee surgery that he could be cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, according to general manager John Mozeliak.

That would start the 20-day clock for his return ticking, although that could be restarted if he suffered any kind of a setback along the way. Craig has been participating in extended spring training games, but only as a hitter.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

Getty Images
3 Comments

Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.