JUPITER, Fla. – First baseman Allen Craig is dealing with an achy right shoulder and was kept out of Saturday’s lineup for the Cardinals’ spring opener vs. Miami.
Craig served as the designated hitter in Friday’s coach-pitch scrimmage and didn’t participate in a drill involving hard throws during Thursday’s practice.
“I’m fine,” Craig said. “We’re just taking it slow. I’m working through it. It’s the first game. It’s not a big deal at all.”
Craig hit .307 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI in 119 games for the Cardinals last season. He missed the first month of the season due to knee surgery and spent time on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
The first baseman said he likely would have been in the lineup Saturday had it been a regular season game.
“We’re just being precautionary,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We did the same thing with Shelby (Miller). We realize it throws out a lot of caution flags and it throws out headlines but those are risks we’re willing to take just to make sure we’re really cautious. Sometimes a little extra time goes a long way.”
The Cardinals had most of their other regulars in the lineup for Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Marlins. Rafael Furcal is dealing with elbow pain and was not in the lineup.