Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season. This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason. More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter. Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.
This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre. A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience. No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking. Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there. Sign up today and give it a try.
Player: Allen Craig
Season stats: 134 games, 563 PA, 71 R, 29 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 97 RBI, 40 BB, 100 K, .315/.373/.457
Hero/Goat: Hero 13, Goat 5
Overall grade: A
Positives: If you were to recreate the MV3 for the current team, there’s no doubt that Craig would be right there with Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter. Craig was a rock-solid force in the middle of the most productive lineup in baseball. Everyone knows the numbers by now, but when a guy hits .448 with runners in scoring position and two outs, it’s worth repeating. (More fun with numbers: Craig hit .636/.704/1.045 with a runner on third and two outs and .857/.857/1.429 with bases loaded and two outs.) Craig’s flexibility was an asset as well, as he could rest Carlos Beltran at times and let Matt Adams get into the lineup.
Negatives: Losing Craig down the stretch with his foot injury was a significant blow for the Cardinals. Of course, the down time didn’t affect him much as he hit .375 in the World Series and the Cards did pull away while he was out, so the step off wasn’t huge. He did strike out 100 times, which is a little high, and hit 50 points less against lefties, but you really have to dig to start finding flaws in Craig’s 2013.
Outlook: There’s no guarantee where Craig will be playing in Busch Stadium next year, just that he will be. Depending on the status of Adams, he may find himself out in right more, but no matter where he will be playing, Cardinal fans can rest assured that he’ll continue to be the Amazing Whacker Guy.