The good news is that the Cardinals believe Alan Craig might be ready to be on the roster on opening day.
The bad news is that he'll probably be limited to only pitch hitting duties for an undetermined amount of time.
Craig has been hitting in minor league games so far in spring training. But he's basically only allowed to jog on the basepaths and he isn't ready to play at first base or in right field. It could serve him well to start the season with the big leage club because, while a player can go on a minor league rehab stint, facing sub major league quality pitchers in a spring training setting isn't the same thing as facing major league hurlers in games that matter. Of course, we're talking about one at bat per day instead of four. But quality is more important than quantity.
Hopefully, Craig's knee will come around soon and he'll be ready to play the field. Because, with several older players on the roster at key points, the Cardinals are going to have to pace themselves and get the guys some rest. Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman probably aren't best served to play 150 games a year. If Craig can play some in right or at first, he'll be able to give those guys a break when they need it and keep them fresh for the whole season.