A day after Matt Holliday returned to the starting lineup, he has been placed on the bench again for the start of tonights game against the Giants. He stressed yesterday after his return he was here to play, not to sit. Tonight he will do the latter half.
The Cardinals official website does not list him as injured again, but you have to believe they are trying to make sure he is truly 100% this time instead of keep trotting him on the field only to re-aggravate the injury yet again. The good news, the Cardinals have a very deep bench that allows them to make these shifts and still have a stellar lineup.
Allen Craig is in left field. Allen has had a hot bat of late, going 12 for 29 in his last ten games played and has a season batting average of .330. Jon Jay will be in right field. Jay was a regular in the Cardinals OF last season but saw a decline in playing time with the arrival of Lance Berkman. Jon has put up an average of .405 in his last ten games. Schumaker and Theriot are of course back to anchor the middle of the infield.
Lance Berkman will reprise his old role of First Baseman tonight to combat the Giants, and for the second time in the month, Albert is at third. This is becoming an interesting development as Albert came up as a third baseman but eventually became the utility fielder that dreams are made of, playing 1B, 3B, LF & RF.
Of course he finally became one of the most coveted first basemen in history now and has been on pace to break tons of major league records there. It is nice to see this flexibility still with him moving to third from time to time, showing he is still capable of fielding the leather. This season, he has struggled a bit on both sides and maybe this is an opportunity to try and get the two time former gold glove winner back on the ball and allow him to redeem some early errors. His bat has been the talk of the leagues and is still obviously a major concern for the time being as well.
Keep your fingers crossed sooner or later he gets that kick in the ass he is so desperately in need of. The Cardinals are finally performing and Albert is still stagnant compared to his former self.