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Red Sox call up Allen Craig, three others

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Allen Craig is back in Boston, for better or worse.

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The Red Sox have called up Allen Craig, Sandy Leon, Noe Ramirez, and Ryan Cook as rosters expand.

Hopefully, this means very, very little.

Sandy Leon, Noe Ramirez, and Ryan Cook are what they are. Ramirez and Cook are extra arms in a terribly thin (and frankly just terrible) bullpen. Sandy Leon is a third catcher who will likely only get playing time in an emergency or due to injury.

Allen Craig is where things get...sketchy.

Adding him to the 40-man roster has tax implications for the Red Sox, but those can be mitigated by simply DFAing him once more. If someone takes him, the Red Sox are free of him and some GM out there is probably getting fired. If not, we're right back where we started.

The real issue is playing time, an issue which I discussed here. If you don't feel like clicking...

Craig is a first base/outfield player, and while it's not the worst idea to have another first baseman to back up Travis Shaw for the two or three days off he should still have coming his way this season, the outfield is already overfilled as is, and certainly doesn't need another player getting in the way of Rusney Castillo and Jackie Bradley Jr. starting as many games as they can.

As is, the Red Sox have three interesting-but-inexperienced players who should be getting as much playing time as they can between now and the offseason. Both to give the Red Sox as much information on their abilities as possible, and to get them ready for 2016 if, indeed, they're part of that puzzle.

Craig, sadly, is over that hill. Maybe there's some miracle rejuvenation in his future, but it won't come at the end of a long season which has never seen him impress. It will come at the end of an offseason where he was able to get fully healthy, and knowing how these things work, probably in pinstripes. If it's something that Dave Dombrowski needs to see to believe, Pawtucket isn't that far away.

But here we are, and Allen Craig is back. Hopefully he's just here to spell Travis Shaw every once in a while given that there's not really much depth at first base to speak of. But given the way the Red Sox have been treating the outfield situation...skepticism and concern seem justified.