Big Mayo is back: Matt Adams rejoins Cardinals’ lineup

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Matt Adams is starting at first base for the Cardinals tonight, rejoining the lineup for the first time since late May.

Adams missed nearly four months with a torn quadriceps muscle and has served as a pinch-hitter since returning from the disabled list last week.

St. Louis seems likely to limit his playing time down the stretch in an effort to keep him healthy for the playoffs, because having Adams’ left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup will be key in October.

Mark Reynolds was the primary fill-in at first base in Adams’ absence, but recently the Cardinals have been using Brandon Moss there most often. Adams sitting versus left-handed pitchers in favor of the righty-hitting Reynolds seems like an easy way to keep everyone fresh, but the lefty-hitting Moss may also steal some playing time if the outfield is too jammed with other options.

For tonight Adams is batting fifth versus Brewers right-hander Ariel Pena.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.