Despite slump, Allen Craig starts over Oscar Taveras


St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Allen Craig is in a season-long hitting slump right now.

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What I don’t get is why manager Mike Matheny insists on playing Craig over rookie Oscar Taveras. What I sense from all of this is that Taveras is suffering from the same lack of playing time as Peter Bourjos. By not playing Taveras regularly, he is not able to get into any kind of hitting rhythm at the plate.

And yet, Matheny still lets Craig hit in the middle of the lineup, sometimes in the cleanup spot.

“I think it takes a little bit of perspective to step out of the situation and evaluate what’s going on,” Craig said according to Derrick Goold. “What’s going on is that this isn’t the player I am. It’s just a period. It’s just a period of my career and I have to ride it out and figure out what’s going on and just get better from it. It’s not who I am. … I just feel like in my mind this season hasn’t gone how I would like to this point. There is a lot of good ball to be played. I will stay positive.”

The simple fact is that last season’s Lisfranc injury has had an effect on Craig in one way or another. It postponed his offseason workout so he was not where he usually would be at the start of spring training. While Matheny and others believe he will get going this season, the better question to ask: is this the new normal for Allen Craig?

Bernie offers his thoughts on what’s happening in right field.

Meanwhile, Matt Adams has taken over as the regular Cardinals first baseman and could very well win the National League batting title depending on how many games Troy Tulowitzki misses due to an injury.