World Series, Game 3: Red Sox-Cardinals lineups

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Lineups for Game 3 of the World Series at Busch Stadium …

Red Sox:
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B David Ortiz
LF Daniel Nava
3B Xander Bogaerts
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
SS Stephen Drew
SP Jake Peavy

As expected, David Ortiz is making the start at first base while Mike Napoli is on the bench with the designated hitter unavailable under National League rules. It hurts to sit Napoli, but the Red Sox can’t afford to be without Ortiz right now. The veteran slugger has five homers in 13 games this postseason, including one in each of the first two games of the World Series. The other notable changes include Daniel Nava in left field over Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts being moved up to the No. 6 spot in the order. Stephen Drew remains in the lineup despite hitting just .095 (4-for-42) with a 15/1 K/BB ratio this postseason.

Cardinals:
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
CF Jon Jay
SS Pete Kozma
SP Joe Kelly

No designated hitter means that Allen Craig will be on the bench to begin Game 3. He has taken some ground balls at first base in recent days, but the Cardinals don’t want to rush him back into the field and cause a setback with his foot. Carlos Beltran is in the lineup after he went 2-for-4 with an RBI single Thursday in his return from a severe rib contusion. Meanwhile, Pete Kozma is back in the lineup after Daniel Descalso made the start at shortstop in Game 2.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.