Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the Cardinals-Rangers series tonight:
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS TEXAS RANGERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS 1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Allen Craig, RF 2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Albert Pujols, 1B 3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Matt Holliday, LF 4. Michael Young, DH
5. Lance Berkman, DH 5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. David Freese, 3B 6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Yadier Molina, C 7. Mike Napoli, 1B
8. Jon Jay, CF 8. David Murphy, LF
9. Ryan Theriot, 2B 9. Yorvit Torrealba, C
SP Kyle Lohse, RHP SP Matt Harrison, LHP
Tony La Russa has made a couple changes of note to his lineup as the series shifts to Texas for Game 3. In addition to installing Lance Berkman as the designated hitter under American League rules, Allen Craig will make the start in right field and bat second against the left-hander Matt Harrison. Jon Jay, who batted second in the first two games of the series, slides down to the eighth spot in the order. Finally, Ryan Theriot will make his first start of the series at second base and bat ninth.
As expected, Yorvit Torrealba is behind the plate for Game 3 while Mike Napoli plays first base and Michael Young serves as designated hitter. Torrealba, who struck out in a pinch-hit appearance in Game 2, hasn’t started a game since Game 4 of the ALCS against the Tigers on October 12. The 33-year-old backstop is hitting .308 (4-for-13) this postseason. David Murphy is back in the lineup for Game 3 after Craig Gentry started in center field against the left-hander Jaime Garcia in Game 2. Josh Hamilton, who started in left field on Thursday night, is back in center field tonight.
We’re entering what is typically one of the slowest news weeks in the baseball calendar. Occasionally some big free agents sign around now. For example, it was 20 years ago today Andres Galarraga signed with the Braves, and I still remember being in an airport on the way home to visit my parents when I heard the news. I’m an old man.
The biggest news that is likely to happen this offseason is Giancarlo Stanton being traded. That hasn’t happened yet, but here are the latest bits of news on that:
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for Stanton. No word what they’re offering, but the clubs have been in discussion for some time and it has been reported that the Marlins are the most interested in doing a deal with St. Louis due to the prospects they could send to Miami. There is a sense, however, that Stanton would be hesitant to approve a trade to the Cardinals because he prefers to play on the West Coast;
The Giants play on the west coast, and over the weekend they were reported to be the “most aggressive team” in trade talks for Stanton at the moment. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have likewise made an offer. Their farm system is nowhere near as stocked as that of the Cardinals, so it’s unclear whether they have the prospects to make Miami happy. They could, of course, eat a lot of Stanton’s $295 million contract to make up for that, of course, but (a) doing so would put them over the luxury tax; and (b) the Marlins no doubt want to spur a rebuild with a Stanton trade, so if they can’t get some blue chip prospects back in return, what’s the point?
UPDATE: Who knows if this is anywhere close to enough — I’m guessing not — but this is what the Giants reportedly have on the table:
Anyway, that’s where we are as we begin Thanksgiving week.