In an age where everything is hyped to the nth degree, it’s hard to find something that can’t be overstated. But I’ll give you one candidate: Yadier Molina’s defense. Dude has been around for almost a decade now, and I feel like, while most people would agree that he’s the best defensive catcher in baseball, not everyone appreciates just how astoundingly good he is.
He put some of that astoundingly good on display last night.
In the bottom of the seventh, Don Mattingly put in Dee Gordon to pinch run for Luis Cruz after Cruz reached on an error. Mattingly has probably had his team run too damn much lately — Matt Kemp was gunned down by Molina in the fourth inning, and the Dodgers had been unsuccessful on their three previous stolen base attempts before that — but in a close game where runs were hard to come by, it wasn’t totally crazy to have one of baseball’s fastest men try to swipe second.
Gordon actually got a pretty good jump too. But Yadier Molina made what is one of the most fantastic throws you will ever see and nailed him cold. Here’s the GIF, via FanGraphs:
Just sick, really. Absolutely sick. Look how quick he releases that ball. Look how tight that thing is to the ground in flight compared to what you see from most other catchers. And look how hard he throws it, too. It has the same kind of movement you see on a fastball from some assassin closer or something. I’d love to see a radar gun reading of that throw.
Yadier friggin’ Molina, kids. Yadier friggin’ Molina.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.