Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday hasn’t played since aggravating his injured right middle finger during Tuesday’s game against the Astros. And he’ll remain sidelined even as the postseason is set to begin.
According to beat writer Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holliday has been ruled out for Game 1 of the Cardinals’ NLDS matchup with the Phillies due to ongoing middle finger discomfort.
Allen Craig, who batted .327/.364/.692 with five home runs and 12 RBI during the month of September, will draw the start in left field instead.
Holliday was given a cortisone shot on Thursday morning and is hoping to feel well enough to play in Game 2, but he’s been in and out of the starting lineup for the past several weeks and is clearly playing through pain. With a productive backup in Craig, the Wild Card champion Cardinals don’t have to push it.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.