Randy Winn, Ryan Spilborghs

Randy Winn wants to play again next season

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Randy Winn is focused on going home and spending some time with his family right now, but the veteran outfielder told B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com that he would like to play again next season.

“I would like to find a team that would like me to play for them, that’s going to be my first thing,” Winn said. “I don’t know what my options are going to be. I hope some organization thinks I can come in and help. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Winn was a massive disappointment after signing a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Yankees in January. He was designated for assignment in May and latched on with the Cardinals the rest of the way. The 36-year-old outfielder batted just .239/.307/.356 with four home runs, 25 RBI and six stolen bases in 233 total plate appearances.

The switch-hitter used to be a legitimate force against left-handed pitching, but his production has slipped in a big way in that area over the past two seasons. Winn could at least hide some of his shortcomings in the past by contributing defensively, but he regressed significantly this season, according to Ultimate Zone Rating on Fangraphs.

Winn has appeared in 1,717 games without making the playoffs, the most of any active player. He’ll probably need to earn a spot on a team out of spring training to have any chance of finally getting there.

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 MLB.com 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.