Allen Craig took batting practice with teammates “cheering and chanting his name”

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Allen Craig was left off the NLCS roster because he’s not recovered from a broken foot, but the Cardinals are holding out hope that he can be available for the World Series and he took a step toward that goal yesterday.

Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Craig took live batting practice “with a handful of teammates cheering and chanting his name as he stepped to the plate.”

Langosch also notes that Craig did some running, but the Cardinals are being very careful with how much they ask him to do in terms of cardio and mobility for fear of aggravating the foot injury. He’s got some big hurdles to clear in the meantime, but having Craig available as a bench bat or maybe even as a designated hitter would be a nice boost for the World Series.

His first base fill-in, Matt Adams, had a big NLDS versus the Pirates but has started the NLCS in a 0-for-7 slump.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

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The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.

The Nationals could pursue Sonny Gray

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network says that the Nationals could pursue Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray if Stephen Strasburg‘s forearm issue lingers. Strasburg left Sunday’s start early due to forearm tightness, saying he was unable to get loose. Sometimes that’s a sign of a major injury. Sometimes it’s just a thing that happens and then goes away.

The Nationals will have to make a determination as to how big a deal this all is pretty soon, though, as a lot of other teams, including the Yankees, Brewers and Astros have all been linked to Gray. It seems inevitable at this point that the A’s will move their ace before Monday’s trade deadline.

Gray is set to start tonight. It may very well be his last in an A’s uniform.