Allen Craig to miss NLDS due to foot injury

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Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig, who has been sidelined since Sept. 4 because of a foot injury, won’t make it back for the NLDS next week, GM John Mozeliak said Friday afternoon.

According to Mozeliak, Craig is dealing with one of the dreaded Lisfranc injuries involving a metatarsal bone and the Cardinals don’t want him trying to play through it and make things worse.

Fortunately, the Cardinals do have a fine replacement on hand in Matt Adams, who has hit eight homers in September while filling in at first base. In fact, Adams has a higher OPS than Craig this year (.847-.830), though Craig has the incredible clutch numbers (.454 average with RISP, 97 RBI in 134 games) and he offers a little better defense. Certainly, the Cardinals would have gone back Craig had he been available.

Their lineup, though, remains plenty imposing with Adams having replaced Craig in the cleanup spot. He may well be there for the duration of the Cardinals’ postseason run.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.