Jeremy Bonderman’s return to the big leagues was met with either indifference or snark. The right-hander hadn’t faced Major League competition during the regular season since October 1, 2010 and hadn’t had an extended run of success since 2006. Not much was expected of the 30-year-old when the Mariners promoted him to make his season debut on June 2, and even less was expected after he surrendered seven runs in four and two-thirds innings to the Twins.
In four starts since then, however, Bonderman has allowed just four runs in 25.1 innings (1.42 ERA). This afternoon, he held the Athletics to two runs over five and one-third innings of work. He isn’t striking anyone out (just 10 thus far in 30 innings), which should make one skeptical of his sustainability. Nevertheless, it is nice to see Bonderman persevere through all of the adversity he has faced over his career.
On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.
Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.
Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.