Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina is scheduled to undergo knee surgery sometime next week, per Brian Stull of St. Louis Baseball Weekly. The procedure, described as a “cleaning” of the knee, is expected to be relatively minor and should have Molina back on his feet again within several weeks.
The 36-year-old catcher doesn’t have a lengthy history of knee issues. He underwent a medial meniscectomy on his right knee back in 2007 and has missed a few days here and there with soreness and inflammation, but doesn’t appear to be facing anything serious enough to compromise his availability in spring training or his upcoming season in St. Louis.
While the Cardinals stumbled to a third-place finish within the NL Central in 2018, Molina turned in another All-Star performance for the team. He completed his 15th campaign in the majors with a .261/.314/.436 batting line, 20 home runs, a .750 OPS, and 2.2 fWAR through 503 plate appearances. The veteran catcher saw a marked improvement from the offensive totals he posted in 2017, but was unexpectedly sidelined for the month of May after taking a 102-MPH foul tip to the groin and undergoing emergency pelvic surgery.
Major League Baseball announced today that Mike Trout and Christian Yelich have been selected as the American League and National League winners of the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards. The Hank Aaron Award, which was established in 1999, recognizes “the most outstanding offensive performers in each league.” A fan vote is part of it. A special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron weighs in as well.
Yellich, who is a back-to-back winner of the Award in the NL, led the Majors with a .671 slugging percentage and a 1.100 OPS, while leading the National League in batting average (.329), WAR (7.3) and OBP (.429). It was his third straight year with at least 100 runs scored and he set career-highs with 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He was the NL Player of the Week twice and stands a good chance of winning the NL MVP Award, though a late season injury will make it a pretty close vote.
Trout, who previously won the award in 2014, led the Majors with a .483 on-base percentage while leading the American League with a .645 slugging percentage and a 1.083 OPS. He was second in the AL with a career-best 45 home runs, was second i WAR (8.3) and, like Yelich, was a two-time Player of the Week winner. He too stands a good chance of wining the MVP though, he too, had a late season injury which could knock him down to second place.