Jered Weaver tests back with bullpen session, “feels good”

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Jered Weaver tested his injured back by throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session yesterday and said afterward that “it feels good, so obviously I want to start pushing it a little bit.”

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Weaver will throw another bullpen session and, if that goes well, could be cleared for a simulated game late in the week.

Weaver had hoped to return after the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list and that isn’t going to happen, but barring any further issues he’s on track to potentially return after about three weeks away. Considering how much pain he appeared to be after tweaking his back on the mound that’s pretty good news for the Angels and their ace.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.