Twins may give oft-injured Crede another year

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While the Twins wait to see whether prospects Danny Valencia or Luke Hughes will emerge as a long-term answer at third base, the Minneapolis Star Tribune‘s Joe Christensen reports that they’re considering re-signing Joe Crede to another one-year deal.
When he signed with the Twins last winter Crede was coming off a season in which he played just 97 games because of injuries and hit .248 with 17 homers and a bad on-base percentage.
Now he’s coming off a season in which he played just 90 games because of injuries and hit .225 with 15 homers and a bad on-base percentage. In other words, Crede performed more or less like the Twins should have expected and was ultimately worth the incentive-laden investment with his great defense factored in.
Between his modest .225/.289/.414 production in 367 plate appearances and Ultimate Zone Rating pegging his glove as 12 runs above average Crede was about 20 runs better than a replacement-level third baseman while earning $4 million in total salary. He’s currently recovering from yet another back surgery, but Crede makes about as much sense for the Twins now as he did last offseason and may be even cheaper this time.
When healthy he hits .250 with good power and excellent defense at third base, but he’s missed 234 of a possible 488 games in the past three years. He clearly can’t be counted on for a full season, but Crede isn’t a terrible fallback option for the budget-conscious Twins if they don’t feel that Valencia is quite ready and miss out on free agent third basemen like Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, or Troy Glaus.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.