Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Scuffling Craig given reprieve in finale vs. Reds

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig, mired in a 3-for-31 start to the season, was out of the lineup on Wednesday as manager Mike Matheny decided to give him a day off to work on his swing and refresh mentally. Jon Jay took Craig's place in right field for the game.

"It's some extra time to get in here, get some extra swings and get out of the routine that isn't working for him right now," Matheny said. "He's really close. I know he is. He feels it. We're seeing some things that look like it. We're just breaking it up here to give him a few days to get things changed."

View Full Game Coverage

ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig, mired in a 3-for-31 start to the season, was out of the lineup on Wednesday as manager Mike Matheny decided to give him a day off to work on his swing and refresh mentally. Jon Jay took Craig's place in right field for the game.

"It's some extra time to get in here, get some extra swings and get out of the routine that isn't working for him right now," Matheny said. "He's really close. I know he is. He feels it. We're seeing some things that look like it. We're just breaking it up here to give him a few days to get things changed."

View Full Game Coverage

Craig was the only Cardinals position player not to reach base in Tuesday's win, and he's tallied just one hit in nine at-bats since the start of the homestand. The struggles are magnified, too, because of the timing. Craig actually had a worse eight-game stretch in 2013 -- he went 1-for-27 from July 25-31 -- but that was easier to mask because he was batting .334 when it started.

"Ideally, we'd all like to get off to a fast start and be [clicking] on all cylinders going forward," Craig said. "But sometimes it doesn't work out like that. I had a pretty good spring. The first couple of games [this season], not so good. But things are going to get better."

Craig came out of Spring Training feeling right with his swing. He batted .313 in 17 Grapefruit League games and impressed with his mobility around the bases after recovering from a foot injury.

Asked if there was any physical issue holding his cleanup hitter back, Matheny answered in the negative.

"There are a number of different things that go into it, and none of them feel right for him right now," Matheny said. "I don't care how much success you've had or how long you've played. They're inevitable. It's just a matter of how quickly you can get through it and the lessons that you learn, hopefully, help you for the next time. Because it will happen again."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.

St. Louis Cardinals, Allen Craig