UPDATE: Allen Craig likely not available for the NLCS

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UPDATE: Nope, likely not happening. Mike Matheny just said it was doubtful Craig will be on the roster.

9:27 AM: Allen Craig missed the NLDS due to an injured foot. Matt Adams filled in nicely, going 6 for 19 with a double and a homer.  But Craig is hoping to be back for the NLCS showdown with the Dodgers, reports Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch.

Based on the article it sounds more like Craig wishcasting than a reality, and the Cardinals themselves aren’t holding their breath. Still, if Craig could be available even for random pinch-hitting duties, it would be a plus for St. Louis. Not that they really need the help. The team is basically stacked.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.