Allen Craig to remain in walking boot for another week

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The Cardinals ruled out a left foot fracture for Allen Craig last week, but he’s still a little while away from returning to the starting lineup.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said that Craig was re-evaluated earlier today and will remain in a walking boot for another week. It was described as a precautionary measure more than anything else, as doctors don’t want him to push it and aggravate the injury.

“Obviously he got re-evaluated today. You may actually see him in a boot. There’s nothing for alarm. They just feel like he’s still at a volatile stage in the sense that as he’s improving they don’t want him to have a setback by being in a tennis shoe or running shoe. So for the next week or so he’ll be in this soft boot. Everything is positive. When this injury occurred we did not know when to expect him back. We still don’t know exactly. But we’re optimistic that he’ll play this year.”

Craig has thrived as the Cardinals’ primary cleanup hitter this season, batting .315/.373/.457 with 13 home runs and 97 RBI in 134 games. He is missed right now, though St. Louis is fortunate to have Matt Adams as a fill-in option at first base.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.