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Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol agrees to a 2-year contract extension through 2026

St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol agreed Friday to a two-year contract extension through the 2026 season.

The 37-year-old former Cardinals minor leaguer led the team to an NL Central title in his first season, winning 93 games in 2022 and becoming the youngest manager to reach the playoffs since a 31-year-old Lou Boudreau took Cleveland to the World Series in 1946. St. Louis went 71-91 last year and finished last in the division.

“Over the past two seasons, we have experienced a lot of different emotions, both up and down,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said. “And through it all, Oli has helped navigate us through these challenging times.”

Marmol joined the Cardinals organization in 2007 as a utilityman and coached in the minors for five seasons before joining the major league coaching staff in 2017. He was fourth in the voting for NL Manager of the Year in 2022, when St. Louis won its first division title since 2019.

His contract had been scheduled to expire after this season.

CONINE'S KID

Griffin Conine, the son of former Marlins mainstay Jeff Conine, homered in Friday's Spring Breakout game between Miami and St. Louis prospects.

Griffin Conine, 26, hit the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning off St. Louis minor league pitcher of the year Max Rajcic over the left-center wall and then added an RBI single. Jeff Conine, who was known as Mr. Marlin in his tenure, which included both of the franchise's World Series victories, was there to see it as a special adviser to owner Bruce Sherman.

Griffin Conine is a non-roster invitee, but he was identified by director of minor league operations Hector Crespo as one of three prospects who had stood out in camp.

BREWERS CLOSER NOT CLOSE

Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams, who was diagnosed with two stress fractures in his back on Wednesday, says he won’t throw for six weeks. Rebuilding his arm strength will probably take an additional six weeks,.

“I have been expecting this for a week now so it wasn’t anything new to me,” Williams said Friday before the Brewers played the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. “It was just confirming that and laying out a timeline of how the process is going to go and what I need to do to get back.”

In his first comments to the media since he was diagnosed, Williams said he felt pain in his back last September but didn’t think it was that serious and kept pitching to help the Brewers wrap up the NL Central title.

“I can’t pinpoint the day,” Williams said. “I was going to warm up and things just didn’t feel right but I just figured it was just muscle soreness and I was able to pitch through it.”

He still had some soreness during the offseason but nothing alarming — until camp started.

“I had a big flareup the first day I got here. All I did was play catch and lift in the weight room," he said. “So I reported that and then we worked through that to the point where I was throwing again, getting off the mound and getting in games.”

He said during an appearance March 5 against San Francisco: “It really started to bother me. I started compensating, my shoulder was getting sore in places that I don’t get sore in. So I said we need to get this checked out.”

An All-Star the last two seasons, Williams, 29, has a career 1.89 ERA in 214 innings. He had Tommy John surgery in 2017.

“I know how to rehab. I’ve done it before,” he said. “Three months in the grand scheme of things isn’t really that long. I’d obviously rather be playing but I’ll do my best to make sure that it heals up correctly and I’m back out there.”

ROSTER UPDATES

The Dodgers and Padres finalized their rosters for their trip to Seoul, South Korea, where they will play exhibitions against Korean teams before meeting in Wednesday's opener.

Max Muncy and Gavin Lux have recovered sufficiently from the flu to make the trip for Los Angeles. Right-hander Blake Treinen, who was hit by a comebacker on Saturday, came out of Wednesday's bullpen session well enough to travel. Catcher Will Smith was scratched from the spring training finale with low back tightness but also made the 31-man roster, which will be cut two 26 before the season begins.

New San Diego acquisition Dylan Cease didn't make it in time for the team charter that left Phoenix on Wednesday night but he will make his way to Seoul on his own. The Padres obtained Cease from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

FELIPE SURGERY

Oakland right-hander Ángel Felipe will miss the season after Tommy John surgery Friday with Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas. Felipe pitched in 14 games for the Athletics last season, going 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA.

WELCOME BACK

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi agreed to a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. Odorizzi, who didn’t pitch last season following shoulder surgery, could earn a rotation spot with Taj Bradley expected to miss the season's start because of a strained pectoral muscle.

The 33-year-old Odorizzi spent five seasons with the Rays (2013-17), going 40-37 with a 3.82 ERA. He was an All-Star with the Minnesota Twins in 2019, when he won a career-best 15 games.

JANSEN SIDELINED

Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen is expected to miss the season's start after fracturing a bone in his right wrist when he was hit by a 93 mph fastball.

Toronto manager John Schneider said Friday that Jansen will likely miss the March 28 opener at Tampa Bay. Alejandro Kirk figures to step in at catcher until Jansen’s return.

Jansen was hit by a pitch Wednesday from Pittsburgh’s Carmen Mlodzinski in the eighth inning of a spring training game.

The 28-year-old Jansen is coming off an injury-plagued 2023 season where he hit .228 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 86 games. He was out for nearly a month early in the year with a strained left groin. His season came to an end on Sept. 1 after breaking his right middle finger on a foul ball during a game against Colorado.

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AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall and AP freelance writers Chris Nelsen and Jack Thompson contributed to this report.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb