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Yadier Molina rejoins Cardinals lineup after knee injury

Jul 9, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT

yadier molina getty Getty Images

Yadier Molina is back in the Cardinals’ lineup tonight, starting behind the plate after missing just two games with a knee injury.

Considering the initial wave of panic that swept through St. Louis when Molina went for an MRI exam over the weekend his quick return obviously qualifies as extremely good news.

Molina, who received the most votes of any National League player in the All-Star balloting, will be starting tonight for the 79th time in the Cardinals’ first 88 games. He’s hitting an NL-best .346 and also leads the league with 26 doubles, giving him a career-high OPS for the third straight season.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    So much for playing it safe with Yadi and sitting him.

    Makes me wonder why they didn’t call up RH power hitting Brock Peterson instead of light hitting 3rd catcher Rob Johnson to replace Wiggy on the roster.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      Yeah, if Yadi is healthy, Johnson is useless (he’s pretty much useless anyway). You gotta figure they’ll bring up Peterson for a bench bat…and maybe Jackson to replace Kozma after the break if Koz doesn’t do anything over the next week.

      I really don’t think there is anything to “fix” in Kozma’s swing. He’s hitting just like he did (or, rather, didn’t) for years in the minors. He’s just not good at hitting.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM


      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Yeah, it is sad. Break ups always are. It isn’t me Koz, it’s you.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        What? You’re terrible.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Actually, it is Kozma that has been terrible.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        I see how you don’t go in all the way. Keep your foot in the door. Don’t stick around for the hard times. Yup. Quitter.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        Hey, at some point, when things aren’t working out, there is no reason for all parties to continue to suffer. Just admit things aren’t working and that they aren’t going to work and move on. Quitting doing something that is stupid is called wisdom…not all quitting is bad.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        You don’t deserve the OK goodness.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        If that is OK goodness, I’ll pass.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        Careful, Bubba.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM

        Offensively, Kozma has been so bad the last month, that I would rather see the pitcher come up with the bases loaded and 1 or 2 outs than Kozma. In June, his OBP was .226 and he “slugged” .275. He has yet to get a hit in July (0-11).

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        Don’t be a Dick Downer. It’s a slump.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        It is actually about how he hit in AA and AAA. A “slump” may be his general status quo.

        AA: OBP .288, SLG .312
        AA: .318; .384
        AAA: .280; .289
        AAA: .292; .355

        That is nearly 4 entire years of not hitting MiLB pitching.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        /toots politely, stomps off

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        To be clear, I really root for the guy every time he is up…but this past month he has worn me down and killed any optimism.

        Holliday hit a 2 run jack in the 1st. That is OK goodness I can get on board with.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Peterson is an interesting guy, seemed like he be a perfect fit for the RH guy off the bench.

        I think we’ll see a Kozma/Descalso platoon before they pull the plug on Koz completely – it may have already began, DD’s getting the start against the righty Norris this evening.

        For whatever reason, they just don’t have any trust in Jackson at SS. Hell, he’s been relegated to an (everyday) utility type in Memphis.

        Who knows…

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Descalso is a disaster at SS (and isn’t good at 2B either). He looks good, but when you pay attention, he has no range, and he is way too error prone. Scouts (even non-Cardinal ones) love Jackson’s defense and he’s hit better in AAA than Kozma ever did.

        There is a reason they were about to waive Kozma last year, they need to remember that…and not be too mesmerized by the mirage of last fall, which has faded back to reality.

      • spudchukar - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        Agree the Johnson call-up now is puzzling. Jackson makes more sense to me too. Offensively, Kozma has been struggling. But I take issue with two things. First, Kozma has been just short of amazing defensively. Granted he has limited range, but his steadiness is nothing short of spectacular.

        I’m just not completely convinced Kozma can’t become a better hitter. Teams do not knock the bat out of his hands. He just fails to square up pitches. Maybe he lacks the hand-eye co-ordination. But since he doesn’t get “beat” by any particular pitch, I am reluctant to discard his hitting ability completely.

        Descalso’s range in better than you suggest PL. He has made a number of ill-advised throws from SS, a position he is still learning, but since he possesses such a powerful arm he still can improve there and isn’t completely out of his element. At second, he has generally been pretty darn good, with the acknowledgement that he hasn’t been as good in 2013 as the two previous years. 3B is still where he shines, and that hasn’t changed.

        Look, this line-up has gotten us to 19 over .500. I’m all for improving, if change can make a significant upgrade. Good Riddance to Wiggy, cause he wasn’t making any positive contribution, and Jackson is at least a capable defender and has some speed, and he is probably a better option than Descalso at SS, and can spell the slumping Kozma, But there is no reason to overreact.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Descalso just get’s horrible jumps. His range metrics are putrid….and you can see it when you watch him play, his first step is non-existent, he runs in place.

        I agree that Kozma’s defense has been very good and that while the range isn’t great, every thing else is..including how well he comes in on balls.

        His bat is just bad though. He Ks too much for a guy with no power, he looks lost and without a plan, and he waves at balls all over the place, popping out waaaaay too much.

        He hit horribly in AA and in AAA for years. He’s 25 now and he just can’t hit. Pitcher dice him up in PAs on a regular basis because he’s always guessing.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        I think the “mirage” analogy was on the mark, Koz definitely built up some trust equity with his play down the stretch last year. If the slide continues a shoe will have to drop eventually one would think.

        I have no idea about Jackson’s defensive abilities at SS, the Cards obviously don’t think he can handle the position or he’d be playing there everyday in AAA.

        SS is obviously not an organizational strength, going outside has to be a consideration if things continue to trend downward.

        Who’s available and at what price is the (multi) million dollar question.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        I still have hopes that the Cardinals will go after the Cuban defector when/if he is cleared by MLB to negotiate with teams.

        There is really no one worthwhile available through trade.

        I can’t find anything about inning played on defense for Memphis. Jackson is starting at SS tonight.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        Off topic but Jenifer Langosh is reporting Mitchell Boggs has been traded to Colorado..

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        They were apparently one of the teams scouting the Cuban dude hard, a calculated gamble with those guys but he couldn’t be any worse than what they have in the org already.

        Makes me long for the days of Rene Arocha.

        Well, maybe not long – maybe just a yearn.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Still with the Descalso hate huh?

      • paperlions - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Sorry man, his defense just sucks…way too inconsistent. It isn’t hate, just true. He was a 3B, and a below average defensive one, then a below average defensive 2B, and now a really really below average defensive SS. Even that play last night in the 9th…all he had to do was take 1 step to his left and NOT fall down and that ball (albeit hard hit) is a double play off the bat of Altuve.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        We just don’t agree on Dscalso’s defensive abilities. I feel he is our best infielder. You feel (most likely)…he is our worst infielder. I also think you are cherry picking to prove your point. Which I can appreciate because you think he is bad defensive infielder. Me? I think his defense is the only thing he brings to the table.

      • paperlions - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        None of the advanced metrics like his range at all. He always have a negative UZR and DRS because his range is horrible….he also commits a crap ton of throwing errors.

        He is a decent utility guy, especially when he is hitting well…as he has been recently.

    • benty4476 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      There are probably 2 factors in that move. First, depth. If Yadi is going to need a day or two off in the near future, then better safe than having someone who hase never caught before forced to catch if Cruz goes down too. Second, Peterson isn’t on the 40 Man Roster, nor do I believe he ever has, so why start the clock on an up and coming prospect for him to ride the pine? Johnson is at best a career back up catcher, so who cares about the clock right? Peterson has some potential out there and would be wasted sitting on the bench versus playing every day in Memphis and there to call up should someone go down to where they need him to fill in every day.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        Peterson isn’t an up and coming prospect, he’s pushing 30 and is an 11 year minor league vet.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM

        The Cardinals only have 38 guys on the 40 man roster, and that include the fact that they had to move Johnson onto it. Trading Boggs frees up another spot.

        Peterson is the ideal bench bat for exactly the reason that he is a long-time MiLB vet with some power. He won’t be wasting away on the bench because he has no more development to undergo, he’s the ideal guy off the bench.

  2. yahmule - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    He’s just a great player in every way, measurable or otherwise.

  3. stlouis1baseball - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I was really hoping they would sit Yadi. Dude absolutely will not do it on his own.
    With the ASG coming up…it would have been a nice break for him. A rest that would help come September/October.

    • gibbyfan - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Agree 100% –especially against houston–although Norris kills us

  4. spudchukar - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Rumor has it Brandon Phillips’ response to the news; “You just can’t keep a good man down.”

  5. steelers88 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    I wouldn’t play Yadier Molina the rest of the games before the all star break let alone the all star game! I would have DL’d Molina retroactive to the day he got Injured so he could take sometime off.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Bold decision with no medicals at your disposal.

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