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.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.