Is Mark DeRosa a fit for the Mets at first base?

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In his weekly column for the Boston
Globe, Nick Cafardo reports that Mark DeRosa’s asking price — once in
the $10 million range —
has come down recently.
He follows that up with a pretty innocent statement that the Mets could
“pull the trigger and use him at first base.” This seems like pure
speculation on Cafardo’s part, not backed by any real information or
sources, but now that this specific passage has been noted in a few
places, the possibility should at least be addressed.

The Mets don’t make any sense for
DeRosa. In fact, any first baseman who craves regular playing time and
a multi-year contract doesn’t. The Mets seem committed to using Daniel
Murphy as part of a platoon at first base, ideally with a right-handed
hitting compliment, but possibly with Carlos Delgado on an
incentive-laden contract.

The Mets surely hope that whoever fills first
base in 2010 is a mere stopgap until Ike Davis arrives, possibly as
soon as next season. Davis, who turns 23 in March, batted
.298/.381/.524 with 20 home runs and 71 RBI in his first full
professional season in 2009, and was recently named the No. 4 prospect in the organization by Baseball America.

On top of all that, the 34-year-old DeRosa has only played 23 games at first base during his major league career. DeRosa is average or better in the
outfield, according to defensive metrics, but should the Mets sign
Jason Bay, as many expect they will, he wouldn’t find any regular
playing time there, either. DeRosa’s versatility is a huge reason why he is so coveted, but agent Keith Grunewald should be able to do better than the Mets, otherwise he has completely misread his client’s market.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.