During the St. Louis Cardinals’ amazing run through the end of 2011 season and the postseason, a rallying cry among Allen Craig, David Freese and other young Cardinals was, “Do it for Tortie!” It was a reference to Craig’s then un-named pet tortoise. As Craig now is rehabbing from a September 4 foot sprain, he should do like Tortie and take things slow.
Craig suffered the foot sprain while rounding first on a base hit, watching to see where an errant throw was going and trying to avoid the umpire. To add insult to injury, Craig was tagged out while lying in the dirt, unable to even crawl back to the base. It’s a definite blow to the Cardinals’ offensive punch, but rookie Matt Adams is filling in nicely so far.
Since Craig went down, the Cardinals have retaken first place from the Pittsburgh Pirates and are holding their own in the tight NL Central race.
Although he had been seen walking around in regular shoes a few days ago, a doctor visit Thursday has him back in a soft boot. The Cardinals say this is not a cause for alarm. They are just being careful.
Craig should not rush back from this injury. Unless the Cardinals have an epic collapse like the Atlanta Braves in 2011, they will be in the MLB playoffs. That’s when they’ll really need Craig to be 100 percent. His batting average with runners in scoring position is second in baseball. His pinch-hit home runs in the 2011 World Series prove he can come through in key situations.
It’s why the Cardinals have locked him up through 2018, and why they need for him to take it easy for now and come back strong when it will really count.