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It was a night of highs and lows for the Cardinals' first basemen on Wednesday.
Twelve innings after starter Allen Craig left with a foot injury, Matt Adams, Craig's replacement, launched his second home run of the game to give the Cardinals a 5-4, 16-inning victory over the Reds on Wednesday night.
Craig sustained the injury while rounding first base in the fourth inning. Craig landed awkwardly on his left foot and stayed down on the infield dirt, eventually being tagged out on the play. He was able to walk off under his own power, with the Cardinals later diagnosing him with a sprained left foot.
Craig will miss at least Thursday's game due to the injury, as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said after the game that Craig will return to St. Louis to "get a closer look" at the foot. Craig was wearing a walking boot and using crutches to get around after the game, and he said his foot was still sore from the play.
"It scared me because my foot has never bent like that before," Craig told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I tried to walk it off. It's sore right now. We'll figure out the extent of everything."
The initial diagnosis of a sprain offers some hope that, if it's mild enough, he could return to action as soon as this weekend. The safer bet would be to assume that he's day-to-day but will likely miss a few games in the early going. An MRI Thursday should reveal a more clear timetable for the 29-year-old.
The injury opens the door for Adams, who twice deposited baseballs into the right field bleachers after entering the game for Craig in the fourth inning. In part-time duty this season, Adams has ripped 11 home runs in 212 at-bats. Adams hit 32 home runs with Double-A Springfield in 2011 and had 18 in 258 at-bats with Triple-A Memphis last season. The power is real.
The big lefty will get the bulk of the playing time at first base if the Wrench is forced to miss any time, and Craig owners or owners looking for a boost in their power numbers should grab Adams where available. More should be known soon about just how much, if any, time Craig will miss.
Click here for the latest MLB Player News on Craig, Adams and everyone else, and follow @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter for all the newest developments. Feel free to shoot any fantasy questions to @Nate_Grimm as we head down the home stretch as well.
'Bats' Gone Silent
A hip injury has ended Jose Bautista's season.
Bautista originally hit the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left hip on August 20, but after two weeks of rest the club and Bautista decided it would be best for the 32-year-old to shut it down for the year. Bautista's season ends with 28 home runs and a .259/.358/.498 line over 118 games.
Bautista said that resting the hip will allow him to return at full strength in 2014.
"It's in a delicate spot, but by resting it now and not making it worse I'm going to completely heal 100 percent and have no issues moving forward," Bautista told the Toronto Star.
It's a disappointing end for fantasy owners, as Bautista's power numbers are nearly irreplaceable. Those owners interested in Bautista's replacement would do well to grab Rajai Davis, a player with a completely different skillset but one that is still useful for fantasy purposes. Anthony Gose and rookie Kevin Pillar will also likely garner some more at-bats in Joey Bats' absence.
Big Men On Campus
Matt Adams wasn't the only big man putting on a show Wednesday night.
David Ortiz blasted two of the Red Sox' eight home runs in their 20-4 tattooing of the Tigers, and Pablo Sandoval went all Game 1 of the 2012 World Series in launching three homers in the Giants' 13-5 victory over the Padres.
Sandoval's performance was especially promising. After hitting eight home runs through the season's first two months, Sandoval had fallen into a slump that saw him hit just two homers since May 22 before Wednesday's outburst. His six RBI in the game equaled half of his August total.
Reading into one-game feats isn't a sound strategy, so to say Sandoval will go on to hit 10 more homers before the season ends would be madness. But for owners of the 27-year-old, Wednesday will at least serve as a glimmer of hope that Sandoval's power stroke could be returning at just the right time.
National League Quick Hits: Yasiel Puig (knee) was held out of the starting lineup again Wednesday. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning ... Starling Marte (hand) is still unable to throw with full effort or swing with two hands. Time is running out for the outfielder to return and make a meaningful impact in September ... Hyun-Jin Ryu will not start Friday against the Reds due to mild back stiffness. He'll most likely rejoin the rotation next Tuesday or Wednesday ... Michael Wacha will start Sunday's series finale against the Pirates. He threw six scoreless innings against the Reds on Tuesday ... the Cubs claimed Daniel Bard off waivers from the Red Sox. Cubs executive Theo Epstein knows Bard from his time in Boston ... Nolan Arenado left Wednesday's game with a jammed thumb ... in looking ahead to next season, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he may use Pedro Strop in save situations down the stretch. Strop is a speculative add for owners in dire need of saves ... Jordan Schafer (back) should be ready to play on Friday ... Chase Headley (back) returned to the Padres lineup on Wednesday. He promptly launched a home run in his first game back ... Roy Oswalt (hamstring) will be activated from the disabled list and appear in Sunday's game against the Padres. It's not yet decided whether he will start the game or enter as a reliever ... Tanner Roark will make his first career MLB start against the Marlins on Saturday. Ross Ohlendorf has been moved to the bullpen.
American League Quick Hits: After returning to the lineup on Tuesday, Miguel Cabrera (abdomen) was held out of Wednesday's game. It was unclear whether the move was due to a re-aggravation of his injury or simply just a day off ... Elvis Andrus (back) missed his fourth straight game on Wednesday. He's likely to return to the lineup on Friday after Thursday's day off ... Lorenzo Cain (oblique) was activated from the 15-day DL on Wednesday. He was originally slated for a Friday return ... Peter Bourjos missed Wednesday's game with right wrist issues. The wrist is the same one he fractured earlier this season, and it's unclear how long the current issues might keep him sidelined ... Jason Hammel (forearm) is likely to be activated from the DL on Thursday. It's not yet known in what capacity he will return ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expects Howie Kendrick (knee) to return this season. Kendrick hasn't played since August 5 with the knee sprain.