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Spring Training 2011: St. Louis Cardinals Have Allen Craig At Third Exclusively

The place: Spring Training 2011. The sight: The St. Louis Cardinals trying desperately to avoid forgetting about Allen Craig for the third season in a row. The latest approach: Putting Craig, minor league slugger and noted milk-carton resident, exclusively at third base, the position he played before his bat sprinted ahead of his glove in 2008.

Craig's arm has long been questioned at the position, but with David Freese fragile and Nick Punto out with a sports hernia this is his last, best chance to stick at the position and become a rich man's John Mabry. Craig's bat makes him something of a tweener, so positional versatility is his best bet to keeping him in the Major Leagues long term. 

But as Tony La Russa has appeared to forcibly insist in the past—Joe Thurston, Adam Kennedy, Jason Simontacchi—anybody can play left field. So until a judgment's passed about his ability to be a below-average defensive third baseman he's working out with the infielders exclusively. Given his luck at the start of last season, he'll look great and then David Freese will begin a 500-game Iron Man streak.