UPDATE: Good news for the Cardinals. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Molina checked out OK following a SCAT II concussion test and X-rays.
8:55 PM: Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Molina left with an back/neck/shoulder strain. The important thing to note here is that there was no mention of a concussion. He’s considered day-to-day as of now.
8:14 PM: Scary moment tonight in Pittsburgh, as Yadier Molina was involved in a violent collision at home plate with Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison in the bottom of the second inning.
You can watch video of the play here.
The collision occurred as Harrison was attempting to score on a single to right field by Jose Tabata. Molina got leveled in the head by Harrison’s shoulder, but he amazingly held onto the ball for the final out of the inning. He was helped off the field and appeared a bit woozy in the dugout before walking back to the clubhouse. Tony Cruz replaced him behind the plate to begin the third inning.
The obvious concern here is that Molina may have suffered a concussion, but we should know more after he undergoes tests.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.