ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny felt it was time that Adron Chambers got his chance. Chambers, who was called up to the Cardinals from Triple-A Memphis on Friday to replace an injured Allen Craig, got his first Major League start on Tuesday against the Padres.
"I just want him to play his game," Matheny said of the 25-year-old center fielder. "It'll work out how it's supposed to. We need to get him in there. He hasn't had any really good chances at the plate to keep doing what he was doing in Memphis. This will be a good chance for him."
The speedy Chambers hit .308 in 37 games with Memphis this season. He made an appearance in a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers on Friday, pinch-running and playing two innings in the outfield, but had yet to have a Major League at-bat before Tuesday.
"Obviously what I've been doing from the beginning," Chambers said when asked about his approach. "Get a good pitch to hit, run some balls down, try to steal some bases and make sure we have more runs than they do in the end."
Chambers will relieve a struggling Shane Robinson. Robinson, who has started the last six games in center, hasn't been able to get into a groove in May. After batting a blistering .419 in April, Robinson is hitting .065 this month, while battling for consistent playing time.
"He goes through Spring Training, just like a lot of young players, in there every day and getting at-bats," Matheny said. "But the timing of game speed is different. He's going to have to just keep working and take advantage of the opportunities that he gets at game speed to kind of catch back up."
Chambers has been in a similar situation, biding his time for chances to contribute. And now that that time has come, Chambers plans to make the most of it.
"This is the game of baseball," Chambers said. "You wait for your opportunity, just like you're waiting on-deck before you go out to the plate. I'm happy that my chance came today, and let's see what I can do."