As the Cardinals wait for Albert Pujols to make a decision Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that they “could shift their focus to Jimmy Rollins” if the three-time MVP signs elsewhere.
Rollins obviously wouldn’t replace Pujols–in the lineup or at first base–but the Cardinals also have an opening at shortstop and with Rafael Furcal also a free agent their current depth chart has Tyler Greene as the leading in-house option.
General manager John Mozeliak made it pretty clear to Goold that he’s hoping Pujols makes a decision one way or another fairly quickly so the Cardinals can move forward with the rest of their offseason plans, many of which hinge on whether they have Pujols or a whole bunch of money to spend.
Rollins’ status may also be in limbo until Pujols makes his decision, because adding the Cardinals to the bidding mix could change his market dramatically.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.