I was all excited when I saw the news nugget about Jose Molina nearing a deal to catch for the Rays embedded in Matthew’s post about the free agent catching market last night. Because it meant that a Molina was going to catch for a team that no Molina had ever caught for before.
So excited that I sat down to create a Molina Matrix tracking all teams that have been Molinafied since the brothers took control of the major league catching racket.
But I’m sad, now, because it seems that between Bengie, Jose and Yadier, only seven teams have been graced with Molinaness: the Jays, Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Cubs, Cardinals and Giants. Sure, the Jays and Angels have each had two Molinas, but the Molina Hegemony has not reached nearly as far as I had imagined it to have reached thus far.
If you would have asked me I would have said that there was something close to a 50% Molina Saturation Factor already. Nope. If Jose signs in Tampa Bay we will have only just barely cracked 25%. I think the latest generation of Boones might be able to challenge that themselves, and there was only two of them.
Anyway, I blame Yadier. One team? Dude, get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.