Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals, in St. Louis:
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Angel Pagan, CF 1. Jon Jay, CF
2. Marco Scutaro, 2B 2. Matt Carpenter, 1B
3. Buster Posey, 1B 3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Pablo Sandoval, 3B 4. Allen Craig, RF
5. Hector Sanchez, C 5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Hunter Pence, RF 6. David Freese, 3B
7. Gregor Blanco, LF 7. Daniel Descalso, 2B
8. Brandon Crawford 8. Pete Kozma, SS
9. Tim Lincecum, SP 9. Adam Wainwright, SP
Bruce Bochy wanted Hector Sanchez behind the plate to catch Tim Lincecum, so Buster Posey shifts to first base and Brandon Belt takes a seat on the bench. Bochy also dropped the struggling Hunter Pence down one spot, with Sanchez taking his usual place as the No. 5 hitter.
For the first time this postseason Mike Matheny has changed the Cardinals’ lineup and it’s thanks to Carlos Beltran’s knee injury keeping him on the bench. Matt Carpenter replaced Beltran in right field during Game 3, but tonight he starts at first base with Allen Craig shifting to right field. Carpenter is batting in Beltran’s usual No. 2 spot.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.