The news is surprisingly good for Yadier Molina.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the All-Star catcher woke up with no stiffness on Sunday morning after making an early exit from Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Cubs.
“I feel a lot better, way better,” Molina told Goold. “It’s spasms still a little bit, but moving around I’m much better. Each day, each second, it will get better.”
Molina appeared to tweak his back and hip while ducking out of the way of a high-and-tight Carlos Marmol fastball on Saturday. He is not in the starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley Field but may be a go on Monday night against the Astros.
The 30-year-old is batting .319/.376/.503 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 130 games played this season.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.