Once upon a time Allen Craig was going to be a starter in right field for the St. Louis Cardinals. The small side of a platoon, sure—Jon Jay has the natural advantage in a platoon, being left-handed and also a Tony La Russa Type—but a starter nonetheless. Then Lance Berkman showed up.â†µ
Then Matt Holliday got hurt. Craig didn't hit any better than anybody else in those dark days, but he got six starts out of the deal and played well enough in the outfield that he could well have earned himself some more playing time on the La Russa Veteran Installment Plan. Then Lance Berkman became an unstoppable home run hitting machine.
On Saturday Craig got his first start in almost a week, and he went 3-4 with a home run. The good news is that it's early enough in his season that it now looks like he's been hitting all year—his season line is now .313/.371/.438, with a home run and seven RBI. The bad news is that it probably means, on this team, that he'll be trusted for even more pinch-hitting duty.â†µ
At least he doesn't have it as bad as Jon Jay; the erstwhile thick side of the platoon has now appeared in 13 games and gotten 16 at-bats out of the deal. Being Lance Berkman's legs is hard, unrewarding work—just ask Lance Berkman's legs.â†µ