Allen Craig (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Like a few corners of the Red Sox
roster, Allen Craig is living a somewhat uncertain existence heading into spring training. For the time being, that doesn’t figure to change.
Speaking at the media availability for the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner Thursday, both Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell said they are proceeding as if Craig will be just another versatile player on their roster.
“Allen can play first in addition to the two corner spots in the outfield. I think we’re focused short-term with Allen right now,” Cherington said. “By that I mean let’s get him into spring training, give him every at-bat he needs and give him a chance to get back into an offensive routine and get back into doing the things he’s capable of doing. It’s one of the things we’ll be able to figure out as it gets closer to opening day. He can protect us at a bunch of spots and we know if he’s doing what he’s capable of doing he can play everyday somewhere to.”
“I wouldn’t say on the outside looking in,” Farrell noted. “He’s been an everyday player. In talking with Allen throughout the winter, he’s aware of the role coming in. We may take a look at some things positionally from a defensive standpoint that gives him a chance to get more regular at-bats. But much as we talk about with the depth of the outfield, this is another situation that spring training will allow itself to work out.”
As Cherington pointed out, Craig does have a history of playing multiple positions, including both corner outfield spots along with first base and even third (where he hasn’t manned since 2008).
“We’ve had that conversation,” said the manager regarding playing all of the aforementioned spots. “He’s open to it. The best thing about where Allen sits right now is he’s eager, he’s open to the work, or the thought of third base. We’ll see how that plays out, at least to answer the question in spring training. Where it goes from there remains to be seen. This is a very talented player who’s having a good offseason physically.”
Craig has spent the offseason working out in California, attempting to have an entirely healthy offseason after spending the year still recovering from a foot issue.
The 30-year-old struggled after coming over to the Red Sox from St. Louis at the non-waiver trade deadline, hitting .128 with a .425 OPS and one home run in 29 games.