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Cardinals plan to scale back Yadier Molina’s workload

Jul 10, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

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Yadier Molina‘s knee injury went from big scare to weekend off, as the Cardinals catcher returned to the lineup yesterday after an MRI exam showed no structural damage. However, the Cardinals are planning to give Molina more days off in an effort to keep him healthy.

Molina started 79 of the first 85 games, which is a huge workload for any catcher, but it’s always tough to sit a guy hitting .350. Manager Mike Matheny told Jenifer Langosch of that “it’s something we’re going to try and stay on top of” and “there are days when we’re going to have to get him some rest.”

Considering how poorly catchers tend to age more days off can never hurt and Molina in particular has logged tons of innings behind the plate at age 30. He ranks second among all MLB catchers in innings caught this season and in the previous four seasons he ranked third, third, first, and second. Now that the Cardinals have Molina signed through 2018 they have more motivation than ever to keep him from breaking down due to a heavy workload.

  1. stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    What a novel idea! One that I have been screaming for…for the last several days.
    One minor adjustment…don’t “scale back his workload.”
    Sit him till’ after the All Star break. It will pay huge dividends in Sept./Oct.

  2. spudchukar - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    No doubt Molina needs more rest. Recognizing that is easy. Deciding when and how often is the tough part particularly since Yadi will fight to get into the line-up every day.

    One thing to remember. Both of Molina’s older brothers played late into their thirties, Jose is still at it in Tampa and they aren’t in near the shape that Yadi is. Granted they didn’t log the innings their younger brother has, but odds are Molina will be the Cards starter throughout his contract.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      “Recognizing that is easy.” I would hope so.
      Him refusing to sit is also well documented. That is precisely why you don’t give him a choice.
      And in my opinion…right now (just prior to the All Star break)…is the time to do it.
      Obviously, that allows you to maximize the rest while not missing a huge amount of games.
      And you are right…Molina’s #2 and #3 (or #1 and #2 depending on how you look at it)…didn’t play close to the number of consistent innings (year in-year out) that Yadi does.
      And I also agree Molina will be the Cards starter thoughout his contract.
      We seem to differ on the position he will be playing however.

      • spudchukar - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        Not sure multiple days off is the preferred medical choice. My guess is space between the days off, perhaps a day right before a schedule day off is a more prudent approach, than the two or three weeks a DL’d Molina would receive immediately.

  3. watchfullhose - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Well – not that be been watching their games – but couldn’t they be batting him as the DH against the Astros….?

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