Ben: That Molina was our last hope.
Yoda: No. There … is another:
Every winter, Gustavo Molina and his wife, Carla, seem to have the same conversation. She asks him which team he will play for. He tells her he doesn’t know. She asks why he switches teams every season. He tells her that it’s his job … Molina is not related to the renowned catching Molinas — Bengie, Yadier and Jose — though he sometimes jokes that he is. He does not have their pedigree, either. The last four springs, he has zigzagged across Florida, going from Port St. Lucie (Mets) to Viera (Nationals) to Fort Myers (Red Sox) to Tampa in search of work.
He is still searching.
How many times a year, on average, do you think Gustavo has to tell people that he’s not related to the other Molinas? Man that has to suck.
Good story by Ben Shpigel about what it means to be, like, the 35th guy on a 25-man roster.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.