The Cardinals will finalize the obvious this morning when they submit their 25-man roster for the World Series with Allen Craig available and starting tonight’s Game 1 at designated hitter. Craig who has been out for more than six weeks with ligament damage in his left foot ran the bases at Fenway Park during an afternoon workout on the eve of the 109th World Series. He has intensified his workouts with each passing day and manager Mike Matheny said the cleanup hitter did enough to “pass his last test” and join the roster. To make room on the 25-man roster the Cardinals dropped outfielder Adron Chambers. As Craig’s health improved in the past week the question for the Cardinals wasn’t whether he would be on the roster — “No need to put a stamp on it four or five days ago” said general manager John Mozeliak — but who would come off. Rookie infielder Kolten Wong is staying on ahead of Chambers who has been a part of the past three postseasons as a speed option for the Cardinals. Mozeliak said Wong offers “more flexibility.” Wong the Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2011 provides the same late-game speed element as Chambers and plays only second base. As a lefthanded bat off the bench he’s hitless in five at-bats this postseason. But as a sub at second Wong allows second baseman Matt Carpenter to move to third base or even into the outfield if necessary. By removing a position player to make room for Craig the Cardinals kept the 12-pitcher staff that they’ve had throughout the postseason. Mozeliak explained that keeping Edward Mujica and Shelby Miller on the active roster provides needed “protection.” Matt Adams will start at first base at Fenway Park. Mozeliak said that the weather will determine if Craig attempts to work out in the field before Games 1 and 2. The Cardinals have not ruled out starting Craig at first base when the series shifts to National League rules at Busch Stadium. Craig gives the Cardinals a rarity for an NL club — an answer at DH. The righthanded-hitting All-Star led the Cardinals with 97 RBIs and was the hub of the Cardinals’ history-making success with runners in scoring position. Craig hit .454 with a .638 slugging percentage in 130 at-bats with runners in scoring position. “That gives us more depth” Matheny said.
Allen Craig is in, Adron Chambers out for Cardinals
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Oct 23