Allen Craig started a rehab assignment with Pawtucket Monday night which could see him ready to rejoin the Red Sox by week's end.
Craig went 0-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances in Pawtucket's 0-2 loss to the Yankees' Triple-A team. The left fielder has been out since spraining his foot on August 1st in his first game with the Red Sox. It was an inauspicious start for a player who has struggled through the worst year of his career in 2014, producing a .639 OPS in 371 at bats.
The hope, however, is that this sort of time off is exactly what Craig needs. There's some suggestion that Craig's issues are physical in nature, perhaps dating back to a Lisfranc issue he sustained back in September 2013. That the Cardinals rushed him back before he could play defense to hit against the Red Sox in the World Series cannot have helped.
It seems optimistic to hope that a couple weeks will fix what a few months could not, but we have still yet to see if there's any "change of scenery" bump for Craig. While his presence could make it difficult once again for the Red Sox to find playing time for all their various pieces, one of the best things that could come of these last six weeks for the Sox would be a big time performance from Craig at the plate, suggesting the return of the hitter who dominated National League pitchers from 2011 to 2013.
If all goes well for Craig over the next few games as he returns to the field, hopefully we'll get to see what he can do with some extended time in Boston starting this weekend.