Though the wrist remains sore, Craig felt good enough during a pregame session of indoor batting practice to give manager Mike Matheny the green light to insert him into the lineup. Matheny made Craig the team's designated hitter, at least allowing Craig the opportunity to avoid aggravating his wrist in the field.
Craig sustained the injury in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Tigers. He hesitated before running in on a shallow fly ball hit by Delmon Young and couldn't make the diving catch. When Craig hit the ground, he jammed the back of his glove hand with the ground.
Though the Cardinals were hopeful that the outfield would be easier on Craig's surgically repaired right knee this season, Craig continues to be more susceptible to injury while in the outfield.
Craig's offseason knee surgery was prompted by an incident last summer in which he ran into a wall while playing the outfield in Houston. Then in May, it was another diving outfield attempt that proved troublesome. He strained his left hamstring on that play and landed on the disabled list as a result.
"Yesterday, he didn't get a good jump on it, which made it turn into more of a dramatic play than what it needed to be," Matheny said. "The injuries have come from the outfield. But early on, it was a lot more taxing on the knee playing him at first base. So we were almost doing him a favor putting him in the outfield."
Craig could find his way back to first base soon. With Jon Jay nearing his return and the Cardinals' opportunity to use a DH ending after the weekend, Craig will likely shift back to the infield.