Will the Cardinals give A.J. Pierzynski another chance to replace Yadier Molina?


When the Cardinals added A.J. Pierzynski to the NLCS roster after leaving him off the NLDS roster it seemed like an inconsequential move, but now that Yadier Molina is out with a strained oblique muscle the veteran catcher might actually be needed.

Last night when Molina exited the game manager Mike Matheny called on longtime backup Tony Cruz to fill in, but when Molina was out for an extended period during the regular season the Cardinals gave Pierzynski a lot of action behind the plate.

Pierzynski hit just .244 with one homer and a .600 OPS in 30 games, so perhaps Matheny saw enough to lose all faith in the 37-year-old former All-Star, but Cruz is a career .225 hitter with a .580 OPS in four seasons for the Cardinals.

Neither player is a particularly appealing option to replace Molina, but Matheny might be tempted to shake things up a bit in the hopes of Pierzynski adding a little more offensive punch to the bottom of the lineup.

Nelson Cruz hits 400th career home run

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Twins DH Nelson Cruz hit his 400th career home run, a solo home run in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Royals. The blast padded the Twins’ lead to 8-6, and was also No. 40 on the season for Cruz.

Cruz, 39, is the 57th member of the 400-homer club. He was previously tied with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline at 399. Cruz has hit 163 of his homers with the Mariners, 157 with the Rangers, and 40 each with the Orioles and Twins.

Cruz entered Sunday batting .300/.383/.624 with 104 RBI in 500 plate appearances. Pretty good production for the Twins from a slugger on a one-year, $14.3 million contract. The Twins hold a $12 million club option for 2020 as well.