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Friday, August 19, 2022

After 19 Years of ‘Managing,’ He Finally Gets to Be a Manager

After 19 years in the majors, and more than 18,000 innings crouched behind the plate, the old catcher has two World Series rings and has earned more than $170 million. After all of that, what is the next step? Traveling the world? Building a beach home? Plopping down in front of a television and disappearing from the limelight?

Yadier Molina, the longtime backstop of the St. Louis Cardinals, whose résumé is widely expected to land him in the Baseball Hall of Fame, doesn’t want any of that yet. Whenever the Cardinals’ season ends, he will immediately head to Venezuela to embark on his next chapter: managing.

Catchers are often called managers on the field because they are involved in every play and are the only players positioned facing out at the entire field rather than in at a batter. But Molina’s teammates and coaches said he has taken that role to another level thanks to his ability to see things that few else do.

Molina liked the taste he got when he managed his native Puerto Rico’s under-23 team in the Pan American Baseball Championship. But he has never managed at the professional level — at least, not formally.

Officially, Oliver Marmol is the Cardinals’ manager. Unofficially, Molina has been sharing those duties for quite a while.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2022 at 11:47 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yadier molina

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   1. The Duke Posted: August 19, 2022 at 04:51 PM (#6092286)
I still think we see him in a part time role in STL next year. 26 man rosters allow for this. Without him the Cards will be adrift - their replacements either aren't good or aren't ready
   2. John Reynard Posted: August 19, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6092302)
I still think we see him in a part time role in STL next year. 26 man rosters allow for this. Without him the Cards will be adrift - their replacements either aren't good or aren't ready


I think Ivan Herrera will be ready by mid-2023 or early 2024. I could see one more year for Yadi. But, Knizer could fake it for half a year, right?
   3. The Duke Posted: August 19, 2022 at 06:35 PM (#6092303)
Kiz is a prototypical backup. Pitchers like him, Good game planner, a little stick and a decent base runner. If Molina disappears they will need to pry a real starting catcher for at least two years. Herrera should also be up periodically as third catcher to get some MLB experience but he looked unready in his trial run. Catching is hard and he's young
   4. mathesond Posted: August 19, 2022 at 07:18 PM (#6092309)
I'm sure the Jays would be willing to part with Danny Jansen. Possibly even Gabriel Moreno.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: August 20, 2022 at 03:52 PM (#6092378)
I think Ivan Herrera will be ready by mid-2023 or early 2024. I could see one more year for Yadi. But, Knizer could fake it for half a year, right?

That schedule matters a lot. "Traditionally" what you want is a solid defensive vet around for the first two years of a young C's career. The vet acts as a tutor and starts half or a bit more of the games in year 1 then drops back to about 60 games in year 2. OK, you probably don't want Molina around for 2 years regardless but if you plan on Herrera in July 2023 then you have more incentive to bring Molina back for 2023. (Obviously if Molina wants to come back, the Cards will take him ... it's a question of whether the Cards will want to talk him into it if they need to.) Knitzer's obviously not the guy you want in that role ideally but there are always some vet Cs floating around that would love to sign for two years or their teams would be willing to trade them.

Now if you don't expect him until sometime in 2024, then an FA like Christian Vazquez looks more attractive to the Cards. He won't sign for that tutor role I described above but to be the 100+ game starter in 2023, the half-time or more job sharer for 2024-25, knowing that if he's still productive in 2025 then either he'll keep the steady job with the Cards or be traded to "start" elsewhere to make room for Herrera if he's ready.

As folks around here have noted, the "starting" C has nearly disappeared. The most PAs at the C position last year looks to be Sal Perez at 501, 120 starts at C. I think Vazquez and Yadi were next with 119 and 118 starts and Molina's about to retire; Posey was also near the top (103) and he's retired. Guys like Will Smith and Realmuto were around 110. So even a "regular starting" C these days is about 2 starts in 3 games. (If he can hit, he may get another start at DH during the week.)

So even a "big" name FA like Vazquez -- he's turning 32, he'll know nobody's looking to sign him to make 360 starts over the next 3 years, he (or his agent) will know he'll be lucky to get to 300. Maldonado is still getting 2/3 starts since Vazquez was traded to Hou.
   6. It's Spelled With a CFBF, But Not Where You Think Posted: August 20, 2022 at 04:08 PM (#6092380)
I've been wondering if the emergence of William Contreras will give the Braves the freedom to trade Travis d'Arnaud in the offseason. Not a great player, but solid bat and no big red flags defensively. Their farm system is in dire enough straits that a C+ prospect with some upside would be helpful.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 21, 2022 at 12:25 PM (#6092445)
In other news- Cardinals place Molina on restricted list:
The Cardinals placed Yadier Molina on the restricted list today, and called up catcher Ivan Herrera from Triple-A to take Molina’s place on the active roster. Molina is away for “business reasons” in Puerto Rico, Cards president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other reporters, and the longtime catcher is expected to return to the Cardinals on Monday. Goold notes that the pro basketball team Molina owns is playing in the finals of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional championship, Puerto Rico’s top league. While seemingly an unusual reason to take time off during the season, Molina’s absence probably amounts to one game at most, as the catcher played on Friday and wouldn’t have played in both weekend games against the Diamondbacks.
Seems like an unusual use of the restricted list.
   8. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 21, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6092473)
I also noticed that Molina and Grandal are now the two slowest guys in MLB. An entire foot/sec behind Pujols. I thought Pujols was slowest last year but I dunno.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: August 21, 2022 at 07:29 PM (#6092525)
Seems like an unusual use of the restricted list.


Something personal has been going on with Yadier this year, no leaks as to what it is, but his injury was prolonged because he didn't want to come back. Last time there was a blackout like this for a Cardinal player, it was a lawsuit in Florida. No idea what is going on with Yadier though.

I also noticed that Molina and Grandal are now the two slowest guys in MLB. An entire foot/sec behind Pujols. I thought Pujols was slowest last year but I dunno.


Pujols is slow, but Yadier is absolutely a full two levels behind him, and Pujols looks better this year than he has in the last couple.

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