Cheap Seats

A door closes for Craig... and opens for Mather

The Cardinals say that Allen Craig's leg injury isn't damaging his chance of winning a job with the major league club. But I have to wonder...

How many times does one player have a minor injury that isn't his fault and that opens a door for someone else who gets hot at the right time?

In this case, that hot hand belongs to Joe Mather, another corner infielder and outfielder. Few gave Mather much of a chance to make the roster when spring training started -- and there is still a long way to go -- but Mather's versatility and major league experience from 2008 weigh against Craig's more exciting bat but poorer defense.

Mather's bat has been what has opened eyes this spring. He's hit for power and average in an admittedly small sample of his work. But in the at bats I have seen, Mather looks like a different player than he did in 2008 when he had a power swing witha big hole in it. His bat seems much quicker and he seems to have a much better idea at the plate.

We'll see if Mather can keep it up... And if Craig can open eyes for himself.

Of course, there is a way both of them can make the team... But that would likely cost either Tyler Greene or Julio Lugo their roster spot.