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Carlos Beltran Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Repeatedly Scratch Outfielder For Knee Soreness

The St. Louis Cardinals don't seem close to placing him on the 15-day disabled list, but they clearly seem concerned with the most worrying Carlos Beltran injury of them all: Their prize outfielder is suffering from a recurring bout of knee soreness—and in the same knee the left him looking like a lost cause at times in 2009 and 2010. Beltran's been scratched from three consecutive lineups, appearing twice as a pinch hitter. With Allen Craig's hamstring flaring up, however, the Cardinals' ability to rest Beltran without disabling him is about to be heavily restricted.

The Cardinals can ill-afford to lose Beltran, with or without Craig; he's hitting .295/.407/.648, with 13 home runs, 32 RBI, and even five stolen bases, and looking every bit like the five-tool player the New York Mets devoted eight figures to after he nearly knocked out the MV3 Cardinals back in 2004. They'll wait as long as they can to make him test his all-important knee, but if Craig is hurt too he could be forced prematurely back into the lineup.