Molina done for spring, questionable for opener

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Tony La Russa said today that Yadier Molina is unlikely to play again this spring after straining his right oblique muscle running the bases yesterday, but added that “we have our fingers crossed for the early part of the season, maybe Opening Day.”
Jason LaRue would step in as the Cardinals’ starter behind the plate if Molina isn’t ready for Opening Day and 27-year-old minor league veteran Matt Pagnozzi would serve as his backup, which might be the worst-hitting catching duo in baseball.
In other Cardinals injury news, Colby Rasmus was scratched from this afternoon’s game against the Mets with a sore right knee. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Rasmus was benched as a “precaution” after getting cleated while trying to break up a double play yesterday.

The Phillies are considering making a play for Jake Arrieta

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Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are considering free agent starter Jake Arrieta.

That may seem kind of weird on the surface given that the Phillies, as Heyman notes, are considered to be at least a year from contention. Thing is, though, we really never know for sure when a team will definitely be in contention, do we? We’ve seen a handful of teams’ rebuilding efforts bear competitive fruit ahead of schedule in recent years, including the current World Series champion Houston Astros. They made the dang playoffs a year after losing 92 games, when everyone thought their true competitive window was several years away. Arrieta’s Cubs were much the same way, improving by 24 wins in 2015 to make the playoffs, in large part because of . . . acquiring Jake Arrieta.

Whether Arrieta, who is coming off of a 14-10, 3.53 ERA season, would be interested in the Phillies is unknown, but if I’m a Phillies fan, I’m happy that my club is being aggressive and is at least considering it.