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Thursday 19th Oct 2017

Both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday were late scratches for Wednesday's St. Louis Cardinals-Washington Nationals game.

After first being in Wednesday’s lineup at first base, the St. Louis Cardinals moved Albert Pujols into the designated hitter role, then he was scratched completely shortly before game time. Dealing with undefined back pains, the first baseman may be out until the weekend as he undergoes additional treatment and refrains from hitting for a few days.


A further concern from Cardinals camp is that Pujols’ protection in the lineup, Matt Holliday, was also a late scratch from St. Louis’ game Wednesday. Apparently, it is a side/oblique issue of undetermined severity.


It is too early to be overly worried about Holliday, who is 2-for-5 on the spring with a pair of doubles and four walks, but Pujols’ situation may be more troublesome. In just five at-bats over two games, the 30-year-old is 0-for-5 with a sacrifice fly.


On the positive side, I saw Albert just before the game and there was no outward appearance of a problem. Holliday was getting treatment behind closed doors.


Washington’s Ian Desmond may not have a clear job yet, but he hammered and legged out a run-scoring triple off Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin. Franklin, who melted down last September after five out-of-this-world months, yielded back-to-back three-baggers and gave up a total of five hits and three earned runs in his second inning of work Wednesday. He was pulled with one out in his second frame. The 37-year-old had tossed two scoreless innings prior this spring.


Cards 2009 first-rounder Shelby Miller made his first and probably only spring appearance, giving up a double that seemed catchable. He walked a runner, but fanned Chris Duncan looking to escape the jam. The 19-year-old is expected to start in A-ball.

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