Josh Beckett expected to return to disabled list with hip injury

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The Dodgers acquired veteran right-hander Roberto Hernandez from the Phillies earlier today and it turns out that he’ll slide right into the starting rotation tomorrow night against the Brewers.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Josh Beckett had an MRI on his hip and is expected to be placed on the disabled list. It’s possible that he could miss the rest of the season.

Beckett, who is dealing with a labrum tear and two cysts in his hip, already had one stint on the disabled list prior to the All-Star break. He has tried to pitch through the condition with the help of cortisone injections, but it hasn’t worked out so well, as he owns an 8.25 ERA over three starts since his return and hasn’t completed five innings in any of them.

The Dodgers have yet to make an official announcement on Beckett’s status for the rest of the season, but it’s clear that they aren’t counting on him. Dodgers general Ned Colletti told Shaikin that “there’s another pitcher out there” they are trying to get even after today’s acquisition of Hernandez.

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.