In Allen Craig’s first eight games, he’s batting a woeful .097 (3-for-31) with three RBI, a .218 OPS, no extra base hits and one walk. He’s 1-for-19 over his last five games. Cards manager Mike Matheny gave his right fielder a breather in the finale of the Reds series.
Craig’s ground-ball rate of 85 percent, as per Fangraphs, is a huge indicator of his early offensive struggles. If nothing else, though, he’s been consistent in his slow starts the past two seasons, as he batted .228 through his first eight games in 2013.
The player who led Major League Baseball last season with a .454 average with runners in scoring position is just 2-for-11 this season in those situations.
Even after spitting out those depressing numbers, there’s no reason to think Craig won’t go on a tear soon. He stumbled last April to a .263 average with no homers before raking at a .326 clip the rest of the year.
When Matheny spoke to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, he didn't think the man who's driven in 189 runs the last two seasons would be down for long:
"He's really close. I know he is. He feels it. We're seeing some things that look like it. We're just breaking it up here to give him a few days to get things changed."