Zack Greinke began yesterday’s start against the Pirates with four no-hit innings, but Neil Walker led off the fifth frame with a homer and he allowed a total of five runs and five extra-base hits in what proved to be his final inning.
He still ended up with a win because the lineup scored a ton of runs, but afterward manager Ron Roenicke hinted very strongly that the Pirates knew what was coming because Greinke was tipping his pitches.
Here’s what Roenicke told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com:
We’ll probably have to go look at some video to see if there’s anything there. I don’t know. I don’t think his pitches were located where he wanted. Still, sometimes when everything is hit like that, you kind of wonder.
When asked about Greinke possibly tipping pitches Ryan Braun replied, “I don’t think they knew what was coming.” Although in fairness he didn’t exactly have a great view from left field.
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.