The Cardinals have been without first baseman and regular cleanup hitter Allen Craig for their postseason run thanks to a foot injury. But he recently took a big step towards returning to the club for the World Series. Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg of MLB.com report the slugger took 10 simulated at-bats on Friday afternoon.
Craig, 29, faced the rehabbing Jaime Garcia and reserve pitchers Jake Westbrook and Sam Freeman. It was his first time facing live pitching in six weeks, and he said the session "went well." He also did some running on the field and will continue hitting in the coming days.
"I think I'll be ready [for the World Series]," said. "I'm going to give it my best shot. I feel good. I feel like I'm progressing in my rehab. If I had it my way, I'm going to be out there. That's what I'm anticipating. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Doctors cleared Craig to increase baseball activities earlier this week, and as our Scott Miller reported, the team is hopeful he will be able to serve as their DH during the AL-park portion of the World Series and as a bat off the bench when it plays at home. The AL has home-field advantage in the Fall Classic by virtue of winning the All-Star Game.
Craig hit .315/.373/.457 (131 OPS+) with 29 doubles, 13 home runs and 97 RBI in 134 games this season before getting hurt. He suffered the injury rounding first base in early September. Matt Adams, who hit .284/.335/.503 (131 OPS+) with 17 homers during the regular season, has filled in at first base during Craig's absence.
The Cardinals beat the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS on Friday night to clinch the pennant. The World Series will begin in either Detroit or Boston (pending the outcome of the ALCS this weekend) on Wednesday.