The World Baseball Classic to pay salaries of injured players

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This is … unexpected. Buster Olney reports:

Players injured during the World Baseball Classic will have their salaries paid by the WBC organization while they are unable to play for their major league teams, according to an MLB source.

That would mean that players such as Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez will be paid by the WBC during their respective absences.

In other news, the Yankees have retroactively sent Alex Rodriguez to the WBC, where he was totally injured by a tire iron to the knee.

Really, though: it’s my understanding that the WBC is funded primarily by Major League Baseball, with some fairly small portion paid by the professional leagues from the various participating counties. If so, all the teams are, in effect, subsidizing Mark Teixeira’s and Hanley Ramirez’s salary for a bit. Which is weird.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.