More bad injury news for the Phillies.
According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, catcher Brian Schneider was lifted in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Marlins after straining his left hamstring while running the bases. Dane Sardinha replaced him on the basepaths and will finish out the game behind the plate.
Carlos Ruiz is scheduled to return from his minor league rehab assignment on Friday and the Phillies have an off day Thursday, so the Schneider injury won’t have a major impact. But it does seem likely that the Phillies will add the veteran backstop to their long list of players on the disabled list.
Chase Utley has been out since spring training with patellar tendinitis, Roy Oswalt has been sidelined for the past few weeks with a back issue, Brad Lidge isn’t expecting to return from his rotator cuff injury until mid-June, and Jose Contreras is out with a right flexor pronator strain in his elbow.
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.
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.