Kelly Shoppach may have more than a sprain

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shoppach headshot.jpgRays’ catcher Kelly Shoppach was placed on the disabled list earlier this week with a knee sprain, but it may be something worse.

Shoppach’s swelling and pain hasn’t subsided, and now he’s scheduled to see the team’s orthopedist tommorw, and there is a possibility that he could need surgery.  Joe Maddon vibes pessimistic in the linked article. Dioner Navarro will be back there all the time now, which is a blow on offense.

Shoppach got the injury last Saturday while blocking Curtis Granderson at the plate. He stopped him, but the game was still 4-0 and the Rays would go on to lose 10-0. I’m not a big fan of plate blocking to begin with. If you got the ball already, great, stop the guy, but that little leg-in-front-of-the-plate-while-catching-the-ball move (a) is unfair to the runner who has just as much a right to the plate as the catcher does; and (b) is a great way to, you know, injure your knee. 

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.