Daniel Murphy slowed with calf injury

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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy will miss his sixth straight Grapefruit League game today due to a right calf injury. He hurt his calf while touching the second base bag on a double last Sunday.

The original plan called for Murphy to return to the lineup today, but he’s not 100 percent yet. He told Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record that it’s “too early to say” whether he’ll be ready to play early next week, but he remains confident about being ready for Opening Day.

Murphy has only had 14 at-bats so far this spring, as Mets manager Terry Collins held him out of the lineup for the first week of exhibition play in order to minimize the risk of injury. The 28-year-old missed most of last spring with an intercostal strain, but went on to hit .286/.319/.415 with 13 home runs, 78 RBI, and 23 stolen bases over 161 games during the regular season.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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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.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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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.