The Cardinals are making some changes to their lineup as the World Series shifts to the American League for Game 3 against the Rangers tomorrow night.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Lance Berkman will serve as designated hitter while Allen Craig will make the start in right field against the left-hander Matt Harrison.
Craig, who had RBI pinch-hits on Wednesday and Thursday, should be a regular for Games 3, 4 and 5 in Texas. While he will spell Berkman in Game 3, there’s a chance he could give Matt Holliday a break in left field on Sunday or Monday.
Craig, or “Wrench” as he is affectionately known by Cardinals’ fans, is 6-for-20 (.300) with one triple, one home run, five RBI and a 5/4 K/BB ratio during the postseason. The 27-year-old batted .315/.362/.555 with 11 homers and 50 RBI over 219 plate appearances during the regular season, including a 1.000 OPS in 70 plate appearances against left-handers.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.