The San Diego Padres figured they’d take a shot on a veteran utility-player who wouldn’t cost them much and if he came around, would be an economical and effective addition. That plan hasn’t panned out as of yet.
Allen Craig last played in the major leagues in 2015, with the Boston Red Sox. The San Diego Padres took a flyer on the 33-year-old veteran with the hopes that he would find his stroke and possibly contribute to a team full of young players.
The situation has changed considerably since the Friars signed Craig to a minor-league deal in January. Since then, they added Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers is now in the outfield, and the Pads’ young players are all smacking the cover off of the ball.
As good as things currently are in Friarville, they’ve been equally as bad for Craig this spring, who hasn’t produced nearly as much as Andy Green had hoped he would have. Green has given him a lot of opportunities to get into a groove thus far but he just can’t seem to find his way.
In 23 plate appearances, which are tied for the fourth-most on the team, Craig has gone 3 for 17 with a run scored and an RBI. To his credit, he has drawn five walks which shows he still has patience at the plate (always a calling card of his).
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San Diego Padres took a flyer on Allen Craig’s track record
The Padres were hoping he’d regain the form that made him an All-Star in 2013 (and earned him a 5-year, $31 million contract), or at least something close to it.
Over his time in St. Louis, Allen Craig slashed .291/.343/.460 with 57 HR, 291 RBI, and 103 doubles.
Over the course of the 2014 season, Craig hurt his ankle and that seemed to stick with him over the next few years.
In 2014 the Cards traded Craig, then 29, to the Red Sox after his production dropped off dramatically over the first half of the season. Before the trade, Craig was only hitting .237 and his OBP was a paltry .291. Something was most definitely amiss.
Things didn’t get any better in Boston, and Craig was released in June of 2017 after not appearing in an MLB game since 2015 (he spent all of 2016 in MiLB).
If Allen Craig can’t turn his spring around and fast, he may be out of a job. That could mean, unfortunately, he’d likely be out of baseball.