Carlos Beltran could play in NLCS Game 4 on Thursday despite suffering left knee injury

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Refreshing news here for anxious Cardinals fans.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the knee injury that Carlos Beltran suffered in first inning of Wednesday’s NLCS Game 3 is “not serious” and the veteran outfielder “could play tomorrow.”

Beltran was initially diagnosed with a left knee strain, but it sounds more like he’s merely dealing with a bit of general discomfort. He was replaced in the game by Matt Carpenter, who homered in the third inning.

Beltran, 35, is batting .400/.486/.867 with three home runs through nine games this postseason.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.