Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will be out 8-12 weeks due to a torn ligament in his right thumb. As a result, the six-time All-Star will be unable to represent the National League at Target Field in Minnesota next week. Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero has been named as his replacement.
The Molina injury also means that Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who drew the ire of Cardinals fans when an attack ad was released on his behalf, will start behind the plate for the National League.
The Diamondbacks now have two All-Stars with Montero and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals have four: Molina, starter Adam Wainwright, third baseman Matt Carpenter, and reliever Pat Neshek. The Brewers also have four: Lucroy, outfielder Carlos Gomez, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”
Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.
There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.