The Dodgers battle a Cardinals team without a couple key pieces to their lineup in Friday's series opener in St. Louis.
We knew about first baseman Matt Adams, placed on the disabled list on Wednesday with a strained right quad that could keep him out for the rest of the season. But St. Louis on Friday also is without outfielder Matt Holliday, out of the lineup against the Dodgers.
Holliday is hitting .320/.433/.444 this season, and has reached base in all 43 games so far in 2015, a Cardinals record for most consecutive games reaching base to start a season. He was hit in the left arm by a pitch on Saturday. He sat Sunday, put played all three games against the Diamondbacks, going 5-for-13 (.385) with a double and a walk. But Friday night, he sits.
Holliday is out with a fever, per Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest.
Randal Grichuk has impressed in limited duty, hitting .308/.333/.615 with 10 extra-base hits in 54 plate appearances. He gets the start in left field on Friday, batting cleanup. Mark Reynolds, hitting .253/.321/.404 with three home runs this season, starts at first base for St. Louis.
The Cardinals have three catchers on their active roster, with the recall of Ed Easley on Thursday to go with Yadier Molina and Tony Cruz.
The only Cardinals who have faced Mike Bolsinger are Reynolds, who is 1-for-6 (.167) with two strikeouts; and Jason Heyward, 1-for-2 with a walk against him. Heyward is off to an atrocious start for the Cardinals, hitting ..239/.290/.387 this season.
The Dodgers have what amounts to a fairly regular lineup on Friday, especially with Scott Van Slyke dealing with a back issue. Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero have a chance to get even more playing time in the near term, with that duo starting at third base and left field, respectively on Friday.
A.J. Ellis starts his fourth straight game on Friday night, with catcher Yasmani Grandal expected to be activated on Saturday if all goes well. Ellis will have started five of six games behind the plate with Grandal on the seven-day concussion disabled list.