Mark Appel recovering after emergency appendectomy

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MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Astros prospect Mark Appel is recovering well after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Thursday. Appel should be ready in time for the start of spring training in just over two weeks.

The Astros took Appel first overall in the 2013 draft. In 38 innings split between Tri-City of the New York Penn League and Quad Cities of the Midwest League, Appel posted a 3.79 ERA — not bad for his first taste of professional ball. The 22-year-old has an invitation to spring training with the Astros but isn’t likely to crack the rotation immediately.

Mariners trade Steve Cishek to the Rays for swingman Erasmo Ramirez.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Erasmo Ramirez.

Cishek had appeared in 23 games this season for Seattle after recovering from major offseason hip surgery. He’s 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, with a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He’s a setup man right now, but he has experience as a closer, saving 25 games for Seattle last year and as many as 39 back when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014.

Ramirez has appeared in 26 games for the Rays and has started eight games. He’s 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 55/16 K/BB ratio in 69.1 innings. This will be his second stint with the Mariners, having played for them from 2012-14.

Sort of a surprising deal given that both Tampa Bay and Seattle are competing for a wild card spot, but needs are needs.

Yadier Molina takes a swipe at manager Mike Matheny on Instagram

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In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch there’s a story about the young Cardinals backup catcher, Carson Kelly. It’s not a controversial story by any stretch. The standard “get to know the young guy” kind of thing. A quote in the story, however, is stoking controversy between the Cards’ starting catcher — Yadier Molina — and his manager.

Here’s Mike Matheny, talking about a couple of starts recently given to Kelly:

“Yadi’s caught a lot,” Matheny said. “Yesterday, just kind of watching him go around the bases, too, you could tell that he’s, you know…” Matheny changed course mid-sentence, but he was implying that Molina is tired.

Molina obviously read it, because here is what he wrote on his Instagram account, along with a screen-cap of the Matheny quote:

 

Alrighty then!

Molina has played in 86 games this year and is on pace for 137. He’s hitting .275/.307/.414 with 10 homers and 44 RBI. It’s not his worst season — his 2015 was worse than this — but it’s also not at the level he’s established over the years. Numbers aside, it’s not unreasonable to think that a catcher with 14 years on the odometer could use a break now and then, so it’s not like Matheny is wrong.

It’s just not the sort of thing players want to read about themselves. At the very least, not something Molina wanted to read.