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And just like that, he's back on the DL. Allen Craig's strained left hamstring halts a sizzling May (19-for-51 with five home runs and 19 RBIs) in which he was building on his breakout stint from 2011. Stash this power bird wherever possible, but given his lower-body troubles in the last few years, the St. Louis Cardinals might take it slow with him.
He joins Jon Jay (right shoulder soreness) on the sidelines, and Carlos Beltran has a bum knee and foot that have limited him to pinch-hitting availability of late. An MRI on his right knee came out clean, though, and Beltran could return to the outfield Friday.
It'd be a welcome sight considering the Cards' taxi squad. Matt Carpenter suited up at the 9 Thursday, and Shane Robinson has been patrolling center field recently. Skip Schumaker and Tyler Greene have been splitting time at the keystone in a platoon-like situation. Schumaker has been moving to center if St. Louis wants him in the lineup versus a southpaw.
Lance Berkman's recent reinstatement limits the playing time St. Louis can offer their contingency fly catchers, who'll merely be single-universe roster fillers. Jay's sideline stint might not be that long, either.
Schumaker's dual role keeps him as the most solidified PT option. Robinson and Carpenter's roles will depend on whether Mike Matheny is comfortable putting Carlos Beltran in center, a stretch since Beltran's knee has bothered him. Robinson, a blah hitter but a potential contributor of some SBs, is more likely to be up the middle, and Carpenter, a corner infielder learning the outfield ropes, wouldn't be a wise placement there.
Adron Chambers, who's expected to take Craig's roster spot and can play center field as well, will be used as a pinch runner and depth while merely being a SB flier. He probably won't get a significant chance to build on his .308/.377/.391 line at Triple-A Memphis.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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