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Cards roll dice with Beltran in CF, Craig in RF

The Cardinals have posted a bold -- and reckless -- line-up for their Friday night tilt with their longtime rival Mets.

Manager Mike Matheny has penciled in balky kneed Carlos Beltran as his centerfielder and Allen Craig, who is fresh off the disabled list with hamstring problems, in right field.

Apparently the Birds want to keep Matt Adams' bat in the order. But at what cost? Beltran has missed five games in the last two weeks because of sore knees. So now he is going to be asked to play a position that is much more demanding on his legs. Meanwhile, Craig will run around in the outfield instead of limiting his need to move about by placing him at first base.

It's nice to get the extra stick in the order. But the Birds are going to be really sorry if Craig ends up going straight back to the disabled list like Matt Kemp did with the Dodgers. And it will be even worse if Beltran does permanent damage to his knees. The guy isn't exactly a quick healer. His knee problems almost ended his career and caused him to miss or be limited in his ability to play for a year and a half.