In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch there’s a story about the young Cardinals backup catcher, Carson Kelly. It’s not a controversial story by any stretch. The standard “get to know the young guy” kind of thing. A quote in the story, however, is stoking controversy between the Cards’ starting catcher — Yadier Molina — and his manager.
Here’s Mike Matheny, talking about a couple of starts recently given to Kelly:
“Yadi’s caught a lot,” Matheny said. “Yesterday, just kind of watching him go around the bases, too, you could tell that he’s, you know…” Matheny changed course mid-sentence, but he was implying that Molina is tired.
Molina obviously read it, because here is what he wrote on his Instagram account, along with a screen-cap of the Matheny quote:
Molina has played in 86 games this year and is on pace for 137. He’s hitting .275/.307/.414 with 10 homers and 44 RBI. It’s not his worst season — his 2015 was worse than this — but it’s also not at the level he’s established over the years. Numbers aside, it’s not unreasonable to think that a catcher with 14 years on the odometer could use a break now and then, so it’s not like Matheny is wrong.
It’s just not the sort of thing players want to read about themselves. At the very least, not something Molina wanted to read.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.