Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez was placed on the disabled list at the end of July due to shoulder inflammation, but he ended up missing just two starts and will make his return tonight against the Diamondbacks.
Alvarez ranks fifth in the National League with a 2.48 ERA across 22 starts and leads the majors with three shutouts. While he has only struck out 83 batters in 137 2/3 innings this season, his walk rate (1.77 BB/9) is the best of his career and he owns a ground ball rate of 54.5 percent. The 24-year-old earned his first All-Star nod earlier this summer.
Despite being two games under .500 at 60-62, the Marlins enter play today just four games back in the National League Wild Card race. Having Alvarez back should help keep them in the mix.
On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.
Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.
Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.