After being crushed by Cuba earlier this morning, Chinese Taipei has been eliminated from the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Cuba topped Chinese Taipei 14-0 in a game which ended in the seventh inning due to the mercy rule. The big blow was an eight-run sixth inning.
Frederich Cepeda, Yasmany Tomas, Jose Abreu and Alfredo Despaigne all homered for Cuba while Danny Betancourt, Norberto Gonzalez and Raciel Iglesias combined to hold Chinese Taipei to just three hits.
Cuba, who lost their second-round opener to the Netherlands, is slated to play the loser of Sunday’s game between Japan and the Netherlands. That game will take place on Monday.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.