Adams excelling as Holliday's temporary replacement

Adams excelling as Holliday's temporary replacement

Adams excelling as Holliday's temporary replacement

CHICAGO -- Matt Adams is adjusting to the role of lineup "fill-in" for the Cardinals, who are playing the rest of this series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field without injured star left fielder Matt Holliday.

After Holliday pulled up and grabbed his right hamstring in a game on Thursday night, he immediately left the lineup and Adams filled the gap. The 24-year-old rookie also started at first base on Friday and Saturday, with Allen Craig moving from first to Holliday's spot in the outfield.

If Holliday's hamstring isn't healed enough to get back in the starting lineup following the four-day All-Star break, Adams could find himself with a short-term everyday role.

"At first it was tough," Adams said. "But we've got great guys on this team that helped me develop a plan, especially [hitting coach John Mabry] and [assistant hitting coach Bengie Molina] with the hitting side of it, just figuring out a plan to do it every day when you get to the park and stick to it, so it becomes a routine."

Despite going hitless in his first seven at-bats of this series, Adams had a .309 batting average coming into Saturday's game with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in just 123 at-bats. On Saturday, he promptly singled and scored in the second inning off Cubs starter Matt Garza to give the Cardinals an early lead.

Adams might not have an everyday spot, but he's already made a good impression since debuting with the Cardinals last year.

"He does a great job off the bench [or] starting," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's done a nice job defensively. There's just not a whole lot that we've seen not to like. It can be [a tough role], but he's done a terrific job so far. We just want him to keep doing exactly what he's doing."

Brian Hedger is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.