Craig takes live BP from Garcia, draws optimism from Matheny -

Craig takes live BP from Garcia, draws optimism from Matheny

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By Dilip Vishwanat By Dilip Vishwanat

(BaseballStL) -- Fans hoping for a spot of good news got their wish Friday. Freshest member of the disabled list Allen Craig took batting practice off one of the list's long term tenants, Jaime Garcia. 

Garcia was part of a three-man rotation that threw to Craig, and he said the injured first baseman looked comfortable.

"I’m excited that Craig felt good and he looked good," Garcia said. "I think he looked really good swinging the bat. It’s a good first round out there.”

Craig was lost in early September with a mid foot injury, prompting Matt Adams to pick up every day duties at first. 

despite more than a month off, manager Mike Matheny said before Game 6 Craig didn't appear rusty. 

"Didn't look like he really missed much, to be honest with you. There wasn't a timing issue, and he said he felt good so that's all pointing in a positive direction," he said. 

Craig took pitches from Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Sam Freeman. Beyond the timing, Garcia said the Cardinals' RBI machine made good contact and seemed in good spirits.

“He actually hit a couple good balls. I was only throwing fastballs, but he looked good," Garcia said. "It’s exciting for me with the way I felt because I’m still recovering from an injury, but it was exciting to see him out there feeling good and swinging the bat good.”

As far as the lefty hurler's recovery, things appear to be on track for a return next season. After getting shoulder surgery in May to repair a torn labrum, Garcia resumed activities in August. Friday's action was a good test, and the 26-year-old said he threw 22 pitches straight in his first live batting practice session.

"I was just trying to get a feel for things and I was pleased with how things went,” he said. 

Matheny said the next step will be to repeat Friday's activity, and reassess Craig's status. If the Cardinals advance to the World Series, Craig would be eligible to rejoin the roster, something Garcia was optimistic about. 

“Me and him, we’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve been doing rehab this last month and working out together," he said. "He’s been a guy that want to be out there and he’s been doing everything that’s been asked for him to do. He wants to be out there so bad so I think he’ll be ready to go.”


JJ Bailey covers the Cardinals for and the BaseballStL app. Follow him on twitter @TheJJBailey and on @baseballstl_app for updates.  

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