Skip Schumaker hoping to be available if Cardinals reach World Series

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In removing Skip Schumaker from the NLCS roster because of an oblique injury the Cardinals initially expected him to miss the remainder of the playoffs, but now the utility man is hoping to be available if they reach the World Series.

“There’s been a lot of improvement from then to now,” Schumaker told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “I wouldn’t have been as optimistic two days ago, or even yesterday, but if it continues to improve at this rate I think there’s a very good chance.”

Of course, Strauss notes that Schumaker “has yet to swing or throw since injuring himself” in Game 5 of the NLDS, so he’s far from a sure thing unless Tony La Russa decides to go the same route Jim Leyland did by playing a clearly still-injured Delmon Young.

In his absence the Cardinals started Ryan Theriot at second base in Game 1 and Nick Punto at second base in Game 2, with Jon Jay playing center field in both games.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.