Carlos Beltran out of lineup with knee injury, but available off bench

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Carlos Beltran had hoped to be back in the Cardinals’ lineup after leaving last night’s game with a strained left knee, but manager Mike Matheny just told reporters that the veteran right fielder is “too sore” to start Game 4 against the Giants.

Matheny did say that Beltran will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter and even at less than full strength the guy with the highest OPS in playoff history is a nice little weapon to have for the late innings.

Matt Carpenter replaced Beltran in right field last night, but today he’ll start at first base with Allen Craig shifting to right field.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.