Derek Jeter had a very rough weekend, including the first 0-for-7 game of his career, and is now hitting just .240 with a .582 OPS this season and .220 with a .566 OPS in 41 total games dating back to last season.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York wonders if Jeter should be moved to the bottom of the Yankees’ lineup and in doing so passes along this tidbit: Jeter is hitting just .220 on fastballs clocked at 91 miles per hour or higher, whereas MLB as a whole hits .261 on such pitches.
It’s no surprise that a 40-year-old is having trouble catching up to good heat and it’s also no surprise that when he does catch up to 91-plus pitches he isn’t able to drive them with much authority, managing just one homer and five total extra-base hits in his last 180 plate appearances.
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.
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.