Peter Bourjos is the first casualty from last night’s Angels-A’s marathon that saw multiple players leave with injuries, as the Angels center fielder has been placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Bourjos nearly beat out a sacrifice bunt in the 11th inning, but came up lame right as his feet hit first base and immediately exited in obvious pain. He was off to an excellent start, hitting .313 with an .827 OPS in addition to his outstanding defense. Mike Trout figures to shift from left field to center field.
To take Bourjos’ place on the roster the Angels are expected to activate shortstop Erick Aybar, who’s spent the past three weeks on the DL with a heel injury. Aybar went 2-for-5 with a homer and a double in a rehab game yesterday at Triple-A.
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.