St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig catches a fly ball off the bat of Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz during the sixth inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) By Paul Sancya
St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig hits a solo home run off a pitch by Texas Rangers' Derek Holland during the eighth inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
(Baseball StL)-- It's looking more and more like Allen Craig is going to be unavailable for the first few games of the season and very possibly could be placed on the DL.
He hasn't played in a Grapefruit League game yet and if he doesn't see a game here they could DL him and backdate it to a point where he'd be eligible to come off just a few games into the regular season. Because of that, both Erik Komatsu and Shane Robinson are expected to make the roster to start the season.
But one (you would think Robinson considering Komatsu is a Rule 5 guy) would have to be optioned out upon Craig's return. Komatsu is a left-handed hitting speedy outfielder who plays all 3 positions very well. He also has done a wonderful job of getting on base in his minor league career to this point.
Komatsu doesn't project as anything more than a reserve outfielder in the big leagues, but his speed offers something this organization doesn't possess much of. And that's speed. Adron Chambers has that but his defensive abilities are limited to left-field for the most part and he doesn't reach base enough to get to use that tremendous speed.
Chambers' base running instincts also could use some refinement. The Cardinals have enough depth the get through the early portion of 2012 where Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker will be out.