Friday night Allen Craig may have made the worst play I’ve seen from the Red Sox all year. (If you click here, you’ll be taken to the video of the play.) However, some of you may either not be able to access it or you’d just prefer to read, so I’ll give you a brief rundown of the play.
With one out in the top of the 10th inning, the Toronto Blue Jays had a runner on second (John Mayberry Jr.) and third basemen Danny Valencia at the plate. Valencia, then, hit a fairly deep fly ball to right fielder, Allen Craig, for the second out of the inning. Well, Craig didn’t seem too cognizant of the situation, and he lackadaisically trotted back to the right field bullpen as if there were three outs or no one was on base. By the time Craig realized what was happening, Mayberry Jr. was rounding third, and he ended up scoring on a fly ball from second.
Now, Craig’s not the best defensive corner outfielder, so, really, a miscue on the field shouldn’t come as a surprise. That said, this particular blunder focused in — to me, at least — on how poor Craig has been with Boston and on the season in general.
Through 445 plate appearances this year the right-handed hitter has compiled a pedestrian .224/.285/.334 clip and -0.9 fWAR, which is a far cry from his .315/.373/.457 slash line and 2.5 fWAR the season prior.
A lot of Red Sox fans aren’t too pleased with Craig’s contributions since being traded to them midseason. That’s understandable, but bear in mind this is a lost year, so why does it matter if he plays well? Actually, I’d argue that there’s an evident silver linings to his shoddy play.
Given the Red Sox’ logjam in the outfield, a couple of outfielders will inevitably have to be dealt before the ’15 season gets underway. Craig’s value is at an all-time low, and, truthfully, it would be foolish to sell low him. He does have an abundance of talent and if he was playing like he did last year or close to it there’s no way they could justify keeping him on the bench.
With his horrendous play, however, they have an excuse to keep him around on the bench next year, and see if he can resurrect the All-Star Allen Craig of the previous two seasons.