NLCS Game 1 lineups: Cardinals vs. Brewers

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Here are the starting lineups for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Brewers, set to get underway just after 4:00 p.m. ET on TBS:

  ST. LOUIS CARDINALS          MILWAUKEE BREWERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS         1. Corey Hart, RF
2. Jon Jay, CF               2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B         3. Ryan Braun, RF
4. Lance Berkman, RF         4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Matt Holliday, LF         5. Rickie Weeks, 2B
6. Yadier Molina, C          6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. David Freese, 3B          7. Carlos Gomez, CF
8. Ryan Theriot, 2B          8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Jaime Garcia, LHP         9. Zack Greinke, RHP

With Skip Schumaker ruled out for the NLCS due to a strained oblique muscle, the Cardinals are likely to rotate Theriot and Nick Punto at second base. Theriot, the better offensive option, gets the start in Game 1.

The Brewers will be looking for more production out of Weeks, who went 1-for-18 in Milwaukee’s NLDS defeat of the Diamondbacks. He remains in the heart of the lineup. Nyjer Morgan, for all his yapping, will open Game 1 on the bench because he struggles against left-handed pitchers. Gomez gets the start in center field.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.