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.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.