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.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.