Beckham suffers groin strain in loss to Orioles

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White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham was pulled from the White Sox’s 4-3 loss to the Orioles on Sunday with a strained groin.  The injury, according to the Chicago Tribune, is being called “moderate,” but groin injuries can be pretty tricky.

Brent Lillibridge replaced him at second base and is likely to start there for the next several days.  He’s batting .359/.375/.641 this season with one home run and 13 RBI in 39 at-bats.

Gordon, meanwhile, is hitting .251/.308/.368 this season with six homers and 37 RBI in 351 at-bats.  He had a horrible start to the year, but has a 1.021 OPS since the All-Star break and looked to be coming around at the plate.  No word yet on when he might be back or if a disabled list stint will be necessary.

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.