*If the Cardinals get there, that is
The St. Louis Cardinals will be without All-Star first baseman Allen Craig until the NLCS at the earliest, and he may not even be available until the World Series -- should the Cardinals make it to either round -- general manager John Mozeliak told reporters Friday (Bob Nightengale).
Craig hasn't played since Sept. 4 due to a left foot injury. Mozeliak told reporters the club was taking a conservative approach because pushing Craig might cause further injury and impact the beginning of the 2014 season.
Craig, 29, made the All-Star team for the first time this season. He's hitting .315/.373/.457 with 29 doubles, 13 homers and 97 RBI -- which will obviously end up being his final stat line for the 2013 regular season.
Fortunately for St. Louis, there's a capable replacement at first base in 25-year-old rookie Matt Adams. He's hitting .285/.337/.511 with 17 homers and 51 RBI in just 306 plate appearances. In fact, he's been on fire since taking over for Craig, hitting .338/.363/.675 with eight homers and 15 RBI in 21 games.
Still, Craig is as steady and reliable as they come at the plate. He has also earned a reputation as a clutch postseason performer.