PHILADELPHIA , PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Allen Craig #21 and Jose Oquendo #11 of the St Louis Cardinals celebrate Craig's two run homerun against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals defeated the Phillies 5-0. (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
That Allen Craig injury the St. Louis Cardinals were weirdly clandestine about is chest discomfort, and apparently not serious.
Allen Craig injury-or-something news spread rapidly across the St. Louis Cardinals twittersphere Wednesday, when Derrick Goold reported on "something that 'came up'" that afternoon, less than a day after he'd clubbed two home runs in the Cardinals' loss on Tuesday. A round of speculation on PEDs, injuries, and illness followed, until GM John Mozeliak announced at a weirdly clandestine press conference that the problem was "chest discomfort," and that he'd be day-to-day with an eye on returning to the lineup as soon as Thursday.
Chest discomfort for Craig, day to day according to Mo, could pinch hit tonight— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 8, 2012
Craig has been among the National League's best hitters since the start of the 2011 season; across 144 games he's hit .305/.362/.565 with 28 home runs and 98 RBI, stopped only by injury and his perennially shaky hold on a consistent spot in the Cardinals' packed batting order.
The Cardinals are already without Lance Berkman, sent back to the DL to deal with his persistent knee problems; any long-term absence from Craig would lead either to consistent playing time for Matt Carpenter or a return engagement in St. Louis for top prospect Matt Adams. Which is why—along with the strangely hush-hush nature of the whole thing from management—people could get so worried about a little uncertainty regarding Allen Craig.