Craig healthy, ready to contribute offensively

Craig healthy, ready to contribute offensively

BOSTON -- Just nine months ago, Allen Craig was at Fenway Park, watching the Red Sox win the World Series against his Cardinals. Back at Fenway on Friday, a day after being traded by St. Louis to Boston, Craig was trying to put it all into perspective.

"I think it's still sinking in, just being in the clubhouse and seeing a lot of faces and putting the names to faces and that type of stuff," said Craig, who went 1-for-4 with a double and one strikeout. "It's cool to be on this side of the clubhouse and get to know the guys who I played against last year in the World Series."

In his debut for the Red Sox on Friday night against the Yankees, Craig batted fifth and started in left field. He lined to center in his first at-bat.

Though he doesn't have the raw power of the other key new acquisition, Yoenis Cespedes, Craig has the type of bat that can help the Red Sox if he can recapture his form of 2010-13.

"I feel like I can contribute offense," said Craig. "That's what I've done my entire career and that's what I feel like I'm going to be here to do, is contribute somewhere in the lineup, wherever that is, and just do my thing, drive guys in and that's it. Just play the game."

Craig had right foot woes late last season and into the World Series, but he doesn't use that as an excuse for his slow start at the plate in 2014.

"I never like to use anything as an excuse," said Craig. "My offseason was cut short because we played in the World Series and it was long and in that regard, my offseason was a little bit shorter. I was healthy going into this year and I'm healthy now. That's something I put in the past and I feel good and I'm ready to go."

It won't take long for Craig to renew acquaintances with his former team. The Red Sox play in St. Louis from Tuesday through Thursday.

"Yeah, the timing of it is a little funky in that regard," said Craig. "It's going to be fun to go in there and play against my former teammates and go back to St. Louis. I'm just going to go and play my game and just play."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.