Allen Craig to miss NLDS due to foot injury

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Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig, who has been sidelined since Sept. 4 because of a foot injury, won’t make it back for the NLDS next week, GM John Mozeliak said Friday afternoon.

According to Mozeliak, Craig is dealing with one of the dreaded Lisfranc injuries involving a metatarsal bone and the Cardinals don’t want him trying to play through it and make things worse.

Fortunately, the Cardinals do have a fine replacement on hand in Matt Adams, who has hit eight homers in September while filling in at first base. In fact, Adams has a higher OPS than Craig this year (.847-.830), though Craig has the incredible clutch numbers (.454 average with RISP, 97 RBI in 134 games) and he offers a little better defense. Certainly, the Cardinals would have gone back Craig had he been available.

Their lineup, though, remains plenty imposing with Adams having replaced Craig in the cleanup spot. He may well be there for the duration of the Cardinals’ postseason run.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.