Major League Baseball announced this evening that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for making contact with umpire Mike Everitt following his ejection yesterday. Molina has appealed the ruling and is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks.
Molina was ejected yesterday after he was called out on a close play at first base in the third inning. The Cardinals’ backstop threw his helmet in frustration, which resulted in the ejection from first base umpire Clint Fagan and a heated confrontation. Everitt, who was the second base umpire, ran over in an attempt to restore some order. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was also ejected for coming out to restrain and defend Molina.
It’s worth noting that Everitt told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he thought the contact from Molina was “incidental.” Still, MLB decided to send a message. The guess here is that Molina gets out of the suspension, but pays the fine.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.