Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Brewers-Cardinals series:
MILWAUKEE BREWERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, RF 2. Allen Craig, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B 4. David Freese, 3B
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B 5. Matt Holliday, LF
6. Jerry Hairston, 3B 6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 7. Ryan Theriot, 2B
8. George Kottaras, C 8. Jon Jay, CF
SP Randy Wolf, LHP SP Kyle Lohse, RHP
Changes galore for both teams.
Last night Ron Roenicke benched Nyjer Morgan for Mark Kotsay in center field with ugly results, so tonight he’s benching Corey Hart in order to keep Kotsay in the lineup in right field while starting Morgan in center field. Hart was the team’s third-best hitter this season, batting .285 with 26 homers and an .866 OPS in 130 games, but apparently because he’s struggled in eight playoff games and has a poor track record in a very limited sample size of at-bats against Kyle Lohse he sits.
Allen Craig lost his starting spot when Matt Holliday returned, but he’s back in the lineup tonight in place of Lance Berkman, who’s struggled since homering early in the postseason and typically fares much worse against righties than lefties. Tony La Russa has also opted for Ryan Theriot over Nick Punto at second base while moving David Freese up into the cleanup spot with Holliday dropping down to No. 5.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.
Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.
Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.
The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.