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Allen Craig returns from knee surgery, rejoins Cardinals

May 1, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Allen Craig Getty Images

UPDATE: As expected, the Cardinals activated Craig from the DL. Rule 5 pick Erik Komatsu was designated for assignment to make room on the roster.

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Allen Craig is slated to return from November knee surgery and rejoin the Cardinals’ lineup tonight, several weeks later than initially hoped.

Despite the delay Craig told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the added time off allowed his knee to truly get healthy and stronger, saying: “I feel good out there right now. I’m ready to play.”

And it showed during his minor-league rehab assignment, as Craig destroyed Single-A and Triple-A pitching for a .357 batting average and three homers in seven games, posting a 1.058 OPS.

That includes a pair of homers and five RBIs in his final rehab outing on Monday, at which point the Cardinals decided it was time to bring him back. Lance Berkman‘s calf injury means there’s room for Allen Craig at first base, although that also means rookie Matt Carpenter will lose playing time despite hitting well as Berkman’s initial replacement.

  1. stlouis1baseball - May 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    It will be very good to get him back. Especially with Lance still being out.

  2. okwhitefalcon - May 1, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Kamatsu DFA’d to make room for Craig..

  3. st1080 - May 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    He’s a rule 5 so someone will claim his ass

  4. okwhitefalcon - May 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Here’s the Rule 5 options on Komatsu from MLB Trade Rumors.

    “The Cardinals selected Komatsu from the Nationals in last winter’s Rule 5 draft. St. Louis now has ten days to determine the 24-year-old’s fate. The Cardinals could work out a trade with the Nationals that would allow them to keep Komatsu, they could return him to Washington, or they could trade him to a third team. Komatsu appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals, playing all three outfield positions. He has a .302/.389/.434 line in four seasons as a minor leaguer.”

    • ajcardsfan - May 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      I’m glad they chose to release Komatsu over Robinson, I think Robinson’s production will be better in the long run, but then again, that’s just my personal speculation.

  5. paperlions - May 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    “Several weeks later than initially hoped”? Wasn’t he initially EXPECTED to miss 4 to 6 weeks of the season?

    • okwhitefalcon - May 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      I think Aaron’s refering to Matheny and Mo’s show of late spring optimism they displayed right before they gave him that 10 AB minor league day and Craig not bouncing back as quickly as they’d hoped/expected afterward.

      It’s good to have him back either way, anxious to see how he does.

  6. st1080 - May 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Craig and Freese never really had a full season to show what they can do. Freese is healthy I think can get 20 homers…maybe more

  7. okwhitefalcon - May 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Craig in the lineup tonight, playing 1st and batting 7th.

  8. creek0512 - May 2, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Robinson will get sent down when Big Puma is activated since Tyler Greene doesn’t have anymore minor league options, they also need an infielder more.

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