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Cardinals remove injured Matt Holliday from roster, Allen Craig to start Game 7

Oct 28, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

2011 World Series Game 6 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Matt Holliday left last night’s game with a sprained right wrist and X-rays were negative, but the Cardinals have removed the injured left fielder from the World Series roster for Game 7.

Holliday, who suffered the injury diving back into third base on a play in which Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre picked him off, has been replaced on the roster by Triple-A outfielder Adron Chambers.

Chambers got a cup off coffee with the Cardinals in September and was on the roster for the NLDS and NLCS, totaling six plate appearances. He won’t start tonight, but as a speedy center fielder he could come in handy as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement.

Chambers hit .277 with 10 homers, 22 steals, and a .783 OPS in 128 games at Triple-A, but it will be Allen Craig replacing Holliday in left field against left-hander Matt Harrison.

  1. burnsy - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    They could replace him with Stan Musial and probably get the same productivity.

  2. salukis92 - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Outstanding decision! I was at game 6 right behind Holliday. The guy seemed lost, dazed and confused. Totally uncomfortable. And that was before his “injury”. His lack of offensive production and base running mental blunders would make me look hard at dumping him next season to free up some money to resign
    Pujols and replace Holliday with Craig.

    • chadh88 - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

      Who is going to take on his contract. The Cards would have to eat too much of it. I say we go all in on offense and have an outfield of Holliday, Craig and Berkman with Jon Jay platooning. Plus Craig can be in the rotation at second and fill in at third when Freese is hurt for his usual couple of months.

      Don’t forget, Holliday plays well in the regular season and I am sure his hand will get much of the blame for the postseason performance. Besides a win tonight will cure a lot of the doubts.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        They need to have A.C. play second right out of the gate next year and leave him there for a full 1 1/2 – 2 months so he can get comfortable. Then…we have Skip platoon as the 4th OF.
        But let’s win one more tonight then we can discuss it. Deal?

      • paperlions - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Holliday has been great each of the first 2 yrs of this deal…He has been a steal at $16.3M/per….I don’t know who might be willing to take on the contract if they were dumb enough to try to get rid of him, but there would probably be plenty of takers….there is no way he’d pass through waivers.

      • paperlions - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        Wong may only about a year away from the majors….have we learned nothing about the price of bad up the middle defense? Craig is not a good IF.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      I hear you Saluki…as far as his horrendous defense anyway. It has always been atrocious (which is why he is a left fielder). But there is no way they find anyone to take on that contract. Let’s just hope his offense production increases a little next year to make up for that defense (or lack thereof).

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM

        Paper: A.C. is a converted infielder. He came up as a 3rd Baseman.
        So…YES…he can (and did) play infield. But we have a 3rd Baseman so…outfield it is.
        The difference is TLR didn’t give him enough time to get comfortable this year at second. Why? Because TLR is in love with Veterans and A.C. is a rookie.
        Skip was a converted outfielder. Had TLR given A.C. (1/2) the time to get comfortable at second as he did Skip you would see A.C. can play in the dirt.
        Please take note…write down…and hang on your refrigerator that (I once again)…pointed out something about TLR that I do not agree with since you seem to feel I agree with everything he does.

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        Just because he is a converted infielder doesn’t mean he’s any good at it or should ever play there. As an example I prsent Alfonso Soriano, second baseman.

      • paperlions - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Yes, and he was very, very bad at it, so they moved him to the OF. Pujols was drafted as a SS…as guys age and the quality of the competition improves the positions they are capable of playing often changes. They can play Craig on the IF if they choose (heck, they’ve let Skip suck at 2B for years now), but he won’t be good at it….and bad defense at an up-the-middle position for a GB pitching staff is a very dumb idea. For example, only a delusional manager would go into a year planning on having Theriot and Schumaker as his regular MIF combination….such is a recipe for disaster.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      I will give him credit for one thing though…and it was huge.
      That Double Play he broke up last night was outstanding. I came off the couch when that happened. Well done Matt…great job.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        Paper: Alex mentions Alfonso Sorryahole and you bring up A.P. Neither of which has any bearing on A.C. playing the IF. A.P. also played LF…and 3rd. Sooooo.
        And A.C. was moved to the OF cause’ we already have a 3rd Baseman. A.C.’s problem was making the adjustment to 2nd base. Why…cause’ TLR left him there for about 2 minutes. Give the guy 1 – 2 months to get comfortable and you will find he is most certainly an upgrade to what we have now. And yes…Skip isn’t a real solid second baseman but he has developed into somewhat of an adequate 2nd baseman.

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        Craig wasn’t only moved because of Freese. Craig is not a good defensive player. And Schumaker doesn’t even touch adequate as a defender. He is a butcher.

        Soriano has everything to do with Craig. He used to play in the infield but was terrible there. They moved him to the outfield because he will hurt the team less there.

      • paperlions - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:24 PM

        Yeah, Fielding % is a dumb stat….but if you have a .925 Fielding % at a position (as Craig did for 3B in the minor before being moved off the position), you are really really bad at it.

        This doesn’t have anything to do with other examples. The player we are talking about proved conclusively in the minors that he sucked playing the infield.

        I’ve got to find an illustrated dictionary so I can see what you look like. I figure I should be able to find you next to “homer”, “confirmation bias”, and “rose colored glasses”.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      1. Matt Holliday is making a lot of money with a full no trade clause.

      2. Matt is *really* good at baseball. He hasn’t posted a sub-900 OPS since 2005. This year, he was hit with a barrage of freak injuries and has had a poor postseason. It happens. Anyone saying you should dump an elite player based upon a bad postseason is absolutely foolish.

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        It should also be noted that the Cardinals don’t even make the postseason without Holliday. But baseball fans seem to have extremely poor attention spans and only remember what a player does in those last 7 games and not the previous 170.

        Remember the Cards fans clamoring to re-sign Jeff Weaver after 2006? (Weaver who was terrible during the regular season with the Cards, posting a 5.18 ERA, a 1.73 K/BB and couching up 16 homers in 83 innings) That’s why you don’t throw out contracts based on a postseason performance.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        Nope…don’t want to dump him. He has in fact had a very bad year (health wise). Plus…his defense easily allows him to play LF. Other than Ryan Braun…I am at a loss to name a solid defensive LF. Anyone? Help a brother out? Name a few solid defensive LF (other than Braun).

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:07 PM

        Holliday is more than really good at baseball. He’s great at baseball*.

        *But I have told him differently in the past. Here is a direct quote from me in Wrigley’s left field bleachers when Mr. Holliday was still a Rockie. (yelling)”Hey Matt Holliday, you’re not very good at the game of baseball!”. I’m not above some very innocent heckling. And that is as profane as I would ever get while partaking in any heckling.

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        Braun is a very bad defender in left. Some good ones include:

        Brett Gardner
        Carl Crawford
        Matt Holliday
        Desmond Jennings

      • edpeters101 - Oct 28, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        How ’bout Carlos Gonzalez Rockies (when they have a healthy center fielder and a strong arm in right field). I agree with others, Matt is one hell-of-a ball player, and his left field play is quite good (after really putting the effort into improving)!

  3. chadh88 - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Good for Chambers, but I was hoping they would activate McGwire so he could pinch hit. He could swing and miss or take a walk the same as Holliday has been.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      You are absolutely out of your mind with your Ryan Braun comment. And to include Holliday with Crawford, Gardner and Jennings? Wow. And Alfonso was moved to Left because he was getting to old to play at the Keystone position. Ummm…I am just…going…to…go…for….a….while.

      • paperlions - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM

        Braun is bad…he isn’t Raul Ibanez bad, but he is clearly below average. You know who came up as a 3B with a similar defensive profile to Allen Craig? That’s right, Ryan Braun. He was so bad at the MLB level (where balls tend to be hit harder than in the minors) that they moved him to the OF.

        Skip hasn’t “developed” into anything…he is just as bad at 2B now as when they moved him there.

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        Fangraphs fielding runs since 2007 (When Braun was moved to left becuase he was awful at 3B:

        Braun- -24.5
        Gardner- 72.3
        Crawford- 46.7
        Holliday- 19.7
        Jennings- 3.4 (In two partial seasons- the sample is very tiny. I probably shouldn’t have included him for that reason)

        And Soriano was a miserable 2B. His fielding runs from 2002-2005 (when he was a full time 2B) are -36.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    So if the Cards win tonight Colby Rasmus gets a World Series ring, right?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      Hahahaha! Awesome post Monkey. You kill me…that is some funny stuff Man! Well done.

    • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      Yep. And it makes me smile. Why you ask? Because it has the possibility of making TLR upset.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        Completely understand Alex…you SELLOUT! lol!

    • sknut - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      And his dad gets to design the ring as well?

  5. jdillydawg - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    I like Holliday but have been disappointed with his play. My son and I would joke that every time Pujols got on base Matt was going to hit into a double play. Moving him to 5th in the lineup after Berkman was genius and I’m not disappointed he’s sitting out tonight.

    Seriously, if LaRussa told me to go to Vegas and bet every penny on black, I think I’d do it right now. I love how that guy manages.

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