The Reds have re-signed catcher Ramon Hernandez to a one-year contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the contract is “thought to be worth” around $3 million.
Hernandez, 34, batted .297/.364/.428 with seven homers, 48 RBI and a 792 OPS this past season, while throwing out 34 percent (18-for-53) of would-be basestealers. He batted .311 with an 825 OPS in 132 at-bats after the All-Star break.
Along with Ryan Hanigan, Reds’ catchers led the National League this past season in batting average (.296) and hits (168) while finishing second in RBI (91) and third in on-base percentage (.375) and OPS (804).
Hanigan has rightly surpassed Hernandez as the everyday catcher at this point, so he’ll probably have the larger responsibility of a time share, but there’s plenty of reason to believe they’ll continue to be one of the best catching tandems in baseball next season.
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.
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 MLB.com 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.