Cardinals don’t view Prince Fielder as fallback to Albert Pujols

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If the Cardinals’ effort to re-sign Albert Pujols fails they won’t pursue Prince Fielder as his replacement at first base, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Strauss writes that if Pujols leaves the Cardinals would replace him internally by shifting Lance Berkman to first base and making Allen Craig the everyday right fielder, which is certainly sensible given how well Craig played in a part-time role.

General manager John Mozeliak explained that attempting to re-sign Pujols and potentially pursuing Fielder are a “different set of circumstances.” In other words, the Cardinals don’t simply want an elite, power-hitting first baseman, they want their elite, power-hitting first baseman.

Shelby Miller likely to make season debut on Monday

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The Diamondbacks announced that the club optioned starter Matt Koch to Triple-A Reno after Tuesday night’s game. According to Nick Piecoro of Azcentral Sports, Shelby Miller will likely be activated from the 60-day disabled list to start against the Marlins on Monday.

Miller, 27, has been out since late April of 2017 after undergoing and rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander has had a rough time since coming to the Diamondbacks in a trade with the Braves, starting 24 games since the beginning of the 2016 season with a 5.78 ERA and a 90/54 K/BB ratio in 123 innings.

That trade, consummated on December 9, 2015, is certainly one the D-Backs would like to take back. They received Miller and Gabe Speier from the Braves and gave up Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, and Aaron Blair.

Koch, 27, made 12 starts and one relief appearance this season, compiling a 4.40 ERA with a 38/17 K/BB ratio in 71 2/3 innings.