ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' Allen Craig shagged flies in right field during batting practice on Thursday, a sort of crash course before his first start at that position in six weeks.
Craig had been manning first base since his last start in right field on Sept. 4, but he was needed in the outfield for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series because of Carlos Beltran's left knee injury. Beltran was limited to pinch-hit duties in Game 4.
"I just have to go out there and trust my instincts," Craig said. "I've got some experience out there. You just play the game. It's no big deal."
Craig mostly played first base this season because of Lance Berkman's injury issues, but Craig did appear in 23 games in right field, including 21 starts. He's played 112 regular-season games as an outfielder, plus 10 games during the Cardinals' 2011 championship run. It was Craig, in left field, who squeezed the final out of Game 7 of the World Series.
In other words, this was not foreign territory.
"I haven't been out there in a while, but it's not a big deal," he said.