ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals are about to get their cleanup batter back, just in time for the World Series.
Allen Craig, who has not played since Sept. 4 because of a foot injury, took batting practice Sunday and said he expects to be on the Cardinals’ World Series roster. Craig would serve as the designated hitter when the Series opens in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will start Game 1 against the Red Sox. Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny declined to announce his rotation beyond then, but Michael Wacha, Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn are expected to follow Wainwright.
Craig batted .315 with 13 home runs and 97 runs batted in, and he led the major leagues by batting .454 with runners in scoring position. It is unlikely that Craig could play first base when the Series returns to St. Louis, but neither he nor the Cardinals have ruled it out.
The deadline for setting the World Series roster is 7 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday. The Cardinals plan to include Craig on the roster, barring a setback that makes it even harder for him to run.
“If nothing else, he adds a little pop on the bench,” General Manager John Mozeliak said.
Mozeliak acknowledged Craig might need some at-bats to shake off the rust.
“We’re trying to get him as much live pitching as we can,” Mozeliak said. “To simulate Game 1 of the World Series is virtually impossible.”