Yadier Molina to begin rehab assignment Wednesday

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Yadier Molina took a round of batting practice on Tuesday night at Double-A Springfield and has been cleared to catch five or six innings there Wednesday in his first minor league rehab game. This according to Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader.

“My thumb feels great,” Molina told Booher after his on-field workout, which included catching a bullpen session and then signing autographs for the fans in Springfield. “I’m in really good shape. I’m happy with the way everything is going. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m going to be nervous. … It’s been a long time. It’s been the longest two months ever. But I’m so excited to come back on the field.”

Molina tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) thumb on July 9.

He could be back behind the plate for St. Louis at some point this weekend.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.