Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will be out 8-12 weeks due to a torn ligament in his right thumb. As a result, the six-time All-Star will be unable to represent the National League at Target Field in Minnesota next week. Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero has been named as his replacement.
The Molina injury also means that Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who drew the ire of Cardinals fans when an attack ad was released on his behalf, will start behind the plate for the National League.
The Diamondbacks now have two All-Stars with Montero and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals have four: Molina, starter Adam Wainwright, third baseman Matt Carpenter, and reliever Pat Neshek. The Brewers also have four: Lucroy, outfielder Carlos Gomez, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).