Free agent catcher Henry Blanco wants to play one more season in the big leagues before calling it a career, tweets Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. Blanco, now 42 years old, spent the 2013 season between the Blue Jays and Mariners, appearing in 50 games total. He was only able to muster a .474 OPS.
Blanco created a feel-good story during the season with two of his three home runs. On June 15, he hit a grand slam against Athletics starter A.J. Griffin, his first since the start of the millennium, when he took Pirates starter Jason Schmidt deep for a four-run round-tripper. Just for good measure, Blanco hit another salami on August 1 against Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster.
Over his 16-year career, Blanco has developed a reputation as a sterling defensive catcher with all of the intangibles, allowing teams to look past his lackluster skills with the bat. Dierkes mentions in his tweet that Blanco is likely to slide right into coaching once he hangs up the spikes.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.