ST. LOUIS • Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig is not starting tonight because of pain in his chest near his ribs, and the team does not expect him to miss much time as he recovers, general manager John Mozeliak said.
Craig woke up Wednesday morning with renewed soreness in his chest stemming from his ribs. X-Rays taken of the area did not show any structural damage.
Mozeliak said Craig could be in the lineup on Thursday.
He is available tonight to pinch hit.
"It really dates back to when we were playing in Cincinnati and he went into the stands," Mozeliak said, referring to the Cardinals' series immediately after the All-Star Break. "All of this has really been blown out of proportion. There was a little bit of miscommunication about all of this. The good news is he can play."
The Cardinals were initially cryptic about Craig's condition. Manager Mike Matheny referred the matter back to the medical staff. Mozeliak announced that he would address the media about Craig's health. Beyond making clear that the injury was not immediately serious, the exact details of the ailment were not revealed for several hours. A reason for this was not offered, nor was it clear why there wasn't more information about the injury offered earlier. The Cardinals were initially vague on if the injury would be a short- or long-term issue for Craig.
Matheny said that it was something that "developed" today.
Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal received an injection meant to alleviate the pain and inflammation in his lower back. He will be given at least a day for the shot to tame the soreness he's been dealing with for several weeks.
Craig hit two home runs and provided both of the runs in the Cardinals' 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday at Busch Stadium. The righthanded-hitting slugger has taken over the everyday role at first base with veteran Lance Berkman on the disabled list.
This season, Craig is batting .298 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs in 69 games.
In spot duty last October, Craig hit four home runs, including three in the World Series against the Texas Rangers.
This evening against the Giants, Matt Carpenter will start at first base. Carpenter was the Cardinals' regular starter at first when both Craig and Berkman were injured earlier this season. Craig opened the season in the disabled list because of knee surgery he required in November to repair a fracture in his patella. Craig had two screws inserted into the bone to put it back together.
Cards shake up lineup
Mike Matheny is getting a few role players some playing time today. Matt Carpenter will bat No. 2 and play first base, while Tyler Greene will bat No. 8 and play second base.
Jon Jay is leading off and playing center field.
Carpenter has batted No. 2 eight times this season and has hit .385/.484/.462.
For the season, Greene is batting .222. He hasn't played for a week, his last start coming against the Rockies on Aug. 1.
Staff writers Joe Strauss, Rick Hummel and Andrew Wagaman contributed information for this report.