The Braves finally got a dose of favorable injury news on Saturday afternoon when left-handed starter Mike Minor made a one-plus inning appearance in the organization’s “Future Stars” game. Minor was expected to pitch longer, but his day was cut short by a 24-minute rain delay in the top of the second.
It was his first time throwing in a live game since the end of 2013. He had surgery in December to repair scarring in his urethra and came down with shoulder soreness near the beginning of spring camp.
“It felt good to actually play in a game without the L-screen,” Minor told MLB.com. “It felt good. … The game atmosphere of everything rolling, umpires and guys behind me playing defense, it felt good.”
The 26-year-old posted an excellent 3.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 181/46 K/BB ratio across 204 2/3 innings last season for the Braves. He is expected to join Atlanta’s starting rotation by the end of April.
Yadier Molina has two World Series rings, multiple Gold Gloves, Platinum Gloves, All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award. He now has an all-time record too.
The record: the most games caught with one team. Last night he caught his 1756th career game with the Cardinals, with ties him with Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs, who last caught in 1941 and set the record in 1940, his last season with Chicago. Molina will break the record next time he dons the tools of ignorance, likely tonight against the Phillies.
Given how badly catchers get beaten up — and Molina has taken a beating at times in his career — and given how well mastery of the position leads to a catcher earning journeyman status, as it were, it’s quite a thing to catch that many games for one team.
Given that Molina is under contract with the Cardinals for two more seasons and has stated his desire to retire a Cardinal many times, he’s likely to put that record so far out of reach that it’ll likely take at least another 78 years to break it, if indeed it is ever broken.