JUPITER, Fla. – The alignment the Cardinals will use Saturday afternoon of Matt Adams at first base and Allen Craig in the outfield is one we could see plenty of in 2013.
Looking for a way to get Matt Adams and his powerful bat in the lineup while also hoping to give veterans Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday enough rest to keep them strong by end of the season, the Cardinals may have a perfect plan.
Craig, the usual first baseman, can play both corner outfield spots if one of the two outfielders needs a day off. That would allow Adams to play first.
“As we start talking about trying to take care of Carlos during the season, there’s going to be days where he’s going to have the opportunity to take a breather,” said manager Mike Matheny. “So we’ll see how that all plays out with what our roster looks like but that’s an option, by putting somebody else at first base and letting Allen go to the outfield.”
Holliday is never one to ask for a day off and puts playing 162 games a season as his goal each year. But sometimes he plays at less than 100 percent and having a powerful bat like Adams to insert into the lineup in his place wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Both outfielders were dealing with injuries down the stretch and were heavily diminished in the playoffs, something that could have come from playing too much during the regular season.
Asked about giving Holliday more rest, Matheny said, “I don’t think he’s real excited about that idea but we did mention that for him. He want 162 of them so we’ll just have to see what it looks like and see how his body reacts but also realizing that if something comes up a little tight here or there, we can spell him through that and not make him push through and still feel like we still have a formidable part of the middle of our lineup out there available. “
Saturday was the first time Craig started in the outfield this spring.