Victor Martinez not close to returning from fractured thumb

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When the Red Sox placed Victor Martinez on the disabled list last month the expectation was that he’d be ready to return shortly after the All-Star break, but according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe “that doesn’t appear to be the case any longer.”
Benjamin reports that “there continues to be no timeline for when Martinez will return” from a fractured thumb, for which he’s still wearing a splint.
Here’s what Martinez had to say about his status:

It’s getting a little better. Swelling’s going down. Still feeling pain, but we’ll see. Just taking it day-by-day. As soon as the pain goes down, I’m going to be able to at least put my glove on there and go out there and play. Unfortunately I just can’t put my hand in the glove. That’s the thing. Pain, still.

Jason Varitek is also on the DL with a fractured foot and likely won’t be ready to return until some point next month, so the Red Sox may be stuck with the Triple-A caliber duo of Kevin Cash and Gustavo Molina behind the plate for a while.

Nathan Eovaldi expects to pitch out of bullpen if Yankees reach ALDS

New York Yankees starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)
AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
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Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.

Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.

There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.

Cardinals “optimistic” Yadier Molina will be on NLDS roster

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.

Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.

The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.