UPDATE: Jeff Mathis to miss at least six weeks with fractured wrist

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Jeff Mathis headshot.jpgUPDATE: Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Mathis is expected to miss at least six weeks with the injury.

Tuesday, 9:19 PM: The Angels have placed catcher Jeff Mathis on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right wrist, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.

Mathis suffered the injury when he attempted to block a ball in the dirt during eighth inning of Monday’s game against the Tigers.

“I saw the replay. His hand really wasn’t in the position it needed to
be. It needs to be behind the glove,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Jeff blocks the ball extremely well – as
well as any catcher in baseball. It was just a freak thing that his hand
was there in a position where it usually isn’t.”

Mathis had become Scioscia’s preferred option behind the plate over Mike Napoli, starting 10 of the season’s first 14 games. Though Scioscia wanted him for his defense, Mathis was off to an 11-for-34 (.324) start with the bat, burying Napoli even further. He even had a 10-game hitting streak under his belt.

It isn’t yet known how long the injury will keep Mathis on the shelf, but now Napoli will become the primary catcher, with Bobby Wilson backing him up.

Cody Bellinger, Cubs reportedly agree to $17.5M, 1-year deal

cody bellinger
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports
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Former National League MVP Cody Bellinger and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a $17.5 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, was cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Nov. 18 after the 27-year-old outfielder hit .210 with 19 homers, 150 strikeouts and a .654 OPS in 144 games.

He had a $17 million contract this season and likely would have received a slight raise in arbitration.

Bellinger was limited to 95 games during the 2021 regular season when he was on the injured list three times and batted .165. He hit .353 in 12 games in that postseason and had the go-ahead RBI single in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the rival San Francisco Giants. Bellinger also had a tying, three-run homer against Atlanta in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series.

In 2020, Bellinger hit .239 with 12 home runs in 56 games during the pandemic-shortened season. He homered three times in the NLCS, and the Dodgers beat the Braves to reach the World Series. They went on to defeat Tampa Bay in six games to win the franchise’s first title since 1988.

Bellinger has battled injuries since his MVP season, including having surgery on his right shoulder in November 2020.

Before his precipitous drop-off, Bellinger was the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and 2018 NLCS MVP. He made two All-Star teams, and won a Gold Glove in 2019.