Nelson Cruz suffers groin strain late in Game 6

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Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday wasn’t the only big-name slugger to make an early exit from Thursday’s wild World Series Game 6.

According to beat writer Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz has been diagnosed with a groin strain, suffered in his final at-bat of the night. Esteban German took his spot in the outfield in the bottom of the 11th inning and Cruz was shown on the FOX broadcast limping down the dugout steps.

The Cardinals haven’t said whether Holliday, who was diagnosed with a severely bruised pinkie, will be available for Game 7 on Friday night in St. Louis. If he can’t go, the Cards will start Allen Craig.

If Cruz can’t play for the Rangers, look for Craig Gentry and David Murphy to both be in the starting lineup.

Must-Click Link: The Best “Irony Jerseys”

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Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.

We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.

Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.