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Yadier Molina leaves game with oblique injury

Mar 24, 2010, 2:43 PM EDT

Yadier Molina left today’s game after straining his oblique muscle running the bases. Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he legged out a double and then was on his way home on a David Freese single when Molina pulled up lame, exiting with a trainer by his side.
Jason LaRue replaced him and would step into the lineup as the Cardinals’ starter if Molina were to begin the season on the disabled list, but losing him would be a huge blow. Not only did Molina lead all of baseball by starting 136 games behind the plate last season, he did so while hitting .293/.366/.383 and throwing out 41 percent of steal attempts.
Beyond that LaRue turned 36 years old last week and is an awful hitter at this point, batting a combined .194 with a lowly .610 OPS in four seasons since losing his starting gig in Cincinnati. He’s palatable as a little-used backup, but if pressed into extended duty things could get ugly. Hummel speculates that Molina may only be out for a week or so, but oblique injuries are often tough to predict.

  1. Fast Eddy - Mar 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Now this is the fourth such injury to a Cardinals in this preseason. Ryan, Holliday, Albert and now the best catcher in baseball, Molina. I think my prediction that this team will not win the division is gaining some strength. Who knows how long this will keep him out? But if he doesn’t start in a couple weeks in Cincinnati, that is a bad sign.

  2. Dan - Mar 24, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    ‘Best Catcher in Baseball’, eh?

  3. GBSimons - Mar 24, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    I’m assuming FastEddy meant best defensive catcher in baseball.
    What makes me sick is that the Cardinals keep signing the worst of the worst backup catchers. Gregg Zaun and Miguel Olivo, among others, are on the market this winter, but they decide Jason LaRue is their man? They ought to do better.

  4. Reed - Mar 24, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Well, best defensive catcher in baseball. But best in the national league.

  5. Fast Eddy - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Yes of course on defense. We know who the best hitter is. But they are both close on defense too!

  6. Fast Eddy - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    I don’t think there is any better defensive catcher in either league. Who is better than him overf the period of their career? I don’t think there is any better catcher ever on the defensive game.

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