Craig resurfaces as September callup

Craig resurfaces as September callup

BOSTON -- More than three months after Allen Craig was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, he finally returned to the Red Sox on Tuesday as a September callup.

A top run producer for the Cardinals from 2011-13, Craig struggled mightily last season as he got over a left foot injury and had trouble adapting to a utility role earlier this season with Boston.

Interim manager Torey Lovullo said Craig will again be used as a reserve, mainly at first base but also a little in the outfield.

"It's been kind of a whirlwind season, I guess you could say," said Craig. "Just try to stay positive. Obviously it started off a little bit rough in the new role, but that's just part of the game. I did the best that I could. I'm not sure what I could've done different. I did the best I could. I needed to go down to the Minor Leagues, and I feel like I did what I needed to do to get back. I'm here now, and that's what I focus on."

In 399 plate appearances for Pawtucket, Craig hit .274 with four homers, 30 RBIs and a .718 OPS.

"I started off pretty hot down there," Craig said. "Really over the past month, I wanted to finish strong and hit some balls real hard. So I feel real confident about where I'm at. I worked real hard down there. Just glad to be here and confident where I'm at."

The Red Sox also called up two pitchers (righty Noe Ramirez and Ryan Cook) and catcher Sandy Leon.

The Red Sox acquired Craig along with Joe Kelly from the Cardinals on July 31, 2014, in exchange for John Lackey.

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