Carlos Beltran back in Cardinals’ lineup after missed week

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Carlos Beltran hasn’t played since the Grapefruit League opener, sitting out a week with a sore shoulder and the flu, but he’s back in the Cardinals’ lineup today.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll start at designated hitter and bat third in a split-squad game against the Braves.

Allen Craig is unlikely to be recovered from knee surgery before May, so the Cardinals can’t afford to have Beltran too far behind schedule heading into Opening Day. Beltran missed significant amounts of the 2009 and 2010 seasons with injuries, but played 142 games last year while hitting .300 with 22 homers and a .910 OPS.