May 1, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Allen Craig (5) hits a home run during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
This one could be tricky, considering the Red Sox outrighted Allen Craig off of their 40-man roster back in May, which means they’d have to remove someone else from the list in order to put him back on.
Is it worth taking away a spot from someone else in order to give Craig another chance? Well the Red Sox have about 20 million reasons to consider it, given the contract they still owe him over the next two seasons.
Craig is hitting a modest .272/.369/.349 in 89 games for Pawtucket this year. He is starting to reclaim his penchant for getting on base, but the 22 home runs he hit with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 now looks like a significant fluke. Craig has only 4 homers and 17 extra-base hits over 327 at-bats this season, as his power has evaporated.
Every chance Craig has been given so far since being acquired from the Cardinals last July has ended in failure. He hit a pitiful .135/.237/.192 in 24 games with Boston before being banished to the minors. Has his modest production in Triple-A been a sign that he has fixed the issues with his swing? That’s what the Red Sox need to find out.
Craig was an All-Star in 2013 and had hit over .300 for his career prior to being shipped to Boston. The 31-year old hasn’t reached the age where his production should have fallen off a cliff this much. A foot injury that plagued him through the 2013 postseason was supposed to be responsible for a down year last season, but he’s had plenty of time to recover from it, so that should no longer be hindering his performance.
Craig is out of excuses. If the Red Sox do allow him to join the roster next month then he needs to perform at the plate. This could be his last chance.
Next: Other Notable Options