By the way
“He’s going to be awesome,” Kelly said, per ESPN. “He carried our team -- the Cardinals -- for multiple years. He was the best hitter on our team, hands down. We had Matt Hollidays, we had Lance Berkmans. But check out any playoff games, any stats, the guy was our best player, 100 percent.
“I’ve seen him in the offseason. We live 40 miles away from each other and I’ve seen him a couple times. Him being healthy, he’s grinding, he’s hitting. It’s definitely going to be fun to watch, and I hope that he gets the amount of playing time that he deserves because he’s going to come up here and dominate.”
Craig has been struggling since suffering a Lisfranc injury to his left foot in September 2013. However, he is even expressing optimism heading into the 2015 season. The Red Sox just have to find at-bats for him in a crowded lineup.
“I can’t reiterate enough that I feel really good physically,” Craig said. “I’ve had time to lift and just get ready physically and work on some things mechanically and this and that. It’s been good.
“My foot injury definitely impacted my preparation for last year. My foot felt good obviously for the majority of the season. I think it just impacted some leg strength and this and that. You can talk about it all day but the bottom line is I’ve had time this offseason to feel good and get stronger and actually build toward something for this season.”
After declaring himself healthy,
Craig suffered a ligament tear in his left foot in 2013 and struggled throughout 2014, hitting .215 with eight home runs and 46 RBI.
"I'm just going to go to spring training and compete wherever I'm at and just play the game like I always have," Craig said. "The Red Sox traded for me because they believe in me, so I want to go out there and play well."
Craig has appeared in just four games at third base in his five-year MLB career, but he primarily played at third base at the beginning of his minor-league career. In fact, he appeared in 246 games at third base in the minors -- the most appearances he made at any one position.
Craig had a down season in 2014, batting .215 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 126 games between the Cardinals and Red Sox. He really struggled with the Red Sox, batting .128 with one home run and two RBI in 29 games.
Craig compiled a miserable stat line of .215/.279/.315 and performed even worse upon his arrival in Boston. The numbers were stunning considering his average exceeded .300 in each of the previous three years and that he drove in 90-plus runs in 2012 and 2013.
"I think it's certainly a part of it," Craig told MLB.com about the foot issue. "The offseason was limited a little bit. I don't want to use that as an excuse, but it was definitely a factor in my preparation for the season. I felt healthy all year so I don't look back at that as a main reason.
"I think that going into this offseason, a little more time, I'll definitely use that to my advantage. I think it will definitely help me and my conditioning, my preparation for next season."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs N.Y. Yankees|
|vs N.Y. Yankees||32||6||1||.257||.313||.188|
|vs Pineda (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 |
| 15 |
| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||3||11||1||4||0||0||1||1||1||2||0||0||.417||.636||.364|
New Era Boston Red Sox Low Crown AC 59FIFTY On-Field Fitted Performance Hat - Navy Blue Shop Now!