Lineups for Game 5 at Busch Stadium …
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B David Ortiz
LF Jonny Gomes
RF Daniel Nava
3B Xander Bogaerts
SS Stephen Drew
C David Ross
SP Jon Lester
Shane Victorino is out of the lineup again with a back injury, so Daniel Nava replaces him in right field and Jonny Gomes plays left field while batting cleanup versus a right-handed pitcher. As expected David Ortiz remains at first base and David Ross gets the nod behind the plate over Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
2B Matt Carpenter
CF Shane Robinson
LF Matt Holliday
RF Carlos Beltran
C Yadier Molina
1B Allen Craig
3B David Freese
SS Pete Kozma
SP Adam Wainwright
UPDATE: Allen Craig initially was not in the lineup, but the Cardinals made a last-minute change to insert him at first base and in the sixth spot instead of Matt Adams. It’ll be interesting to see just how hobbled he is, because it couldn’t have looked good as of just a few hours ago.
Shane Robinson again replaces Jon Jay versus a left-hander and moves up in the order to the No. 2 spot, with Carlos Beltran sliding into a middle-of-the-order role as Matheny shakes things up.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.