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Yadier Molina: A Love/Hate Relationship

Coming into this season I wasn’t sure what to expect with Yadier Molina. I was ecstatic to see him come back for one more season with his best friends, Adam Wainwright and Albert Pujols. They would each give us everything they had left, in hopes for one last World Series ring. If those three could pull off the impossible, they could ride off into the sunset on the top of the baseball world.

Waino has so far proven he still has something in the tank even at age 40. So far in 2022 he’s pitching to a 5-4 record with a 2.82 era. His last 3 starts each gave the cardinals 7 innings of quality baseball and puts them in line for a win.

Albert Pujols has also given the cardinals value as a right handed bat against left handed pitching, as he’s sporting a .357 average against left handers. Keep in mind this is not Albert in his prime. This is 42 year old Albert who can lose a foot race against my grandma, and a .357 average is pretty good for Grandpa Albert.

Now we get to Yadi. Everyone including myself though he would keep up ok production and play decent defensively, but in his age 39 season Yadi is only hitting .213 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI’s. He simply gives St. Louis zero production from the plate anymore. His pool noodle of a bat doesn’t score runs and loses us games, while his defense continues to deteriorate since the 9 time gold glove and 4 time platinum glove backstop simply can’t move like he used too. He’s slow and old and it shows day in and day out that he shouldn’t be behind the dish every day.

However in defense to Yadi his backup Andrew Knizner is only sporting a .198 batting average with 1 home-run and 11 RBI’s, so Oli Marmol doesn’t have a choice but to send Yadi out there and hope that he can get some sort of production out of him.

However, there is a solution to this lack of production from the catcher position. Currently in the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate Memphis there is a catcher by the name of Iván Herrera. Herrera is currently the 4th ranked prospect in the Cardinals minor league system. In 30 games he’s hitting .291 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI’s. He is much more sound behind the plate than both Kiz and Yadi and he’s only 22. This allows Yadi to catch fewer games and focus on mentoring the younger Herrera, who will be the everyday catcher next year. This also allows Kiz to go find his swing in Memphis, or he could be used as trade bait in a deadline deal.

When Cardinals fans saw Molina come to Spring Training late and out of shape, we knew it would take some time for him to get back to full speed. But we are nearing the dog days of summer and the Cardinals need someone who will produce on both ends. I don’t hate Yadi by any means, his #4 will be retired by the Cardinals and he will be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. But unfortunately, the results we are seeing from him are disappointing to say the least. Will the Cardinals listen to me? Probably not. But, one can hope that Marmol will do the right thing to win some games and try and get our Hall of Fame trio one last ring.

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