UPDATE: It’s official now. Harrison in Game 3 and Holland in Game 4.
No official announcement has been made yet, but T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers are expected to start left-hander Matt Harrison in Game 3 of the World Series.
That means fellow southpaw Derek Holland would be in line to start Game 4 and no further games in the series after being the Game 2 starter in both the ALDS and ALCS.
Holland pitched well in his first start of the postseason and also tossed a scoreless inning in relief three days after that, but lasted just 2.2 and 4.2 innings in his two ALCS starts while allowing seven runs.
Harrison lasted just five innings in both of his playoff starts, but struck out a career-high nine batters versus Tampa Bay and then held Detroit to two runs.
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.