Cheap Seats

Holliday's setback opens a door for Craig

It's never a good thing to lose a potential MVP candidate like Matt Holliday for a period of time.

But I am a bit surprised by the end of the world reaction from a lot of Cardinals fans when they learned the slugging outfielder would miss a week or two because he needed an apendectomy.

First, it's not like he's going to miss half the season or something. Holliday is just going to miss a handful of games. Probably something in the range of seven to 10. And his issue isn't season or career threatening. It has nothing to do with his baseball abilities. When he's back, he should be full speed from the word go.

Sure, Holliday has been red hot at the plate while half of the St. Louis offense still seems to be on spring break. But Allen Craig, one of the Cardinals right field platoon members in 2010, tore the cover off the ball in spring training. So this is a good shot to see what he's learned since last season.

If the Redbirds are going to have success in 2011, they need to learn to manufacture runs, not just count on Holliday or Albert Pujols to whack the ball out of the yard. Maybe this situation will cause some of the other guys on the team to pull on the rope a little bit harder instead of counting on the big guns to carry them.

Today the Birds face a tough lefty in Padres starter Clayton Richard. But the absence of Holliday also could give young center fielder a chance to play more of a starring role against righties.

One player does not make a team. So the Cardinals need to put on their big boy pants and find a way to win some games with or without Holliday.