MLB Parent Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Goodbye Ryan Ludwick. Hello Allen Craig.
Since the St. Louis Cardinals traded Ludwick to the San Diego Padres, only Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus are the two certainties of a young and inexperienced Cardinals outfield with newly promoted John Jay patrolling right field.
Without Ludwick, the Cardinals have to rely on Jay, who since being called up has been nothing short of impressive, hitting three home runs and driving in 13 to go along with a .366 batting average in 123 at-bats.
But the chances are Jay is not going to sustain this type of performance till the end of the season and, similar to all rookies, will hit a rookie slump sometime in the near future.
Once that happens, there will be a glaring hole in the outfield, and the Cardinals will look towards Craig to fill the void.
But Craig might be called upon to play sooner than most people would have expected, as news broke that Cardinals third baseman David Freese injured his right ankle during a Double-A rehab assignment and will have surgery that will end his season.
So who will the Cardinals call upon to replace Freese?
The Cardinals could either keep Felipe Lopez as the everyday third baseman, add Ty Wigginton from the Baltimore Orioles, or allow Craig, who according to MLB scouts has a limited arm and range, to get a shot at third.
But with Craig never having played the position before, the Cardinals might be hesitant to place the rookie at third for the remainder of the season.
Craig was recalled by the Cardinals on Tuesday and, batting in the fifth spot in the lineup, recorded two hits and a RBI.
At Memphis this season, Craig was batting .322 to go along with 76 RBI in 77 games played. He will not only platoon in right field for the Cardinals with the left-handed hitting Jay, but come playoff time, Craig might be the Cardinals' starting right fielder.
Before Freese went down, all signs pointed towards Craig being promoted to fill out the Cardinals' bench once the rosters expand.
Now, he might just find himself in the midst of a September pennant race—an opportunity he will certainly seize.