Molina Again Steps Away from the Cardinals

photo: Yadier Molina (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)

On Saturday, August 20, future Hall of Fame catcher Yadier Molina was placed on the St. Louis Cardinals’ restricted list. Prospect Ivan Herrera is his replacement.

St. Louis Cardinals announcement

Brian Walton’s take

The future Hall of Famer is attending to undisclosed business matters at home in Puerto Rico. While the reason for this current time away from his team has not been announced, the 40-year-old was also late for spring training and wanted to rehab at home rather than with the team while on the injured list from June 17 to August 2 with right knee inflammation.

Yadier Molina

The Cardinals almost certainly knew this was coming as they made a public statement on Friday that Herrera would be on the road trip taxi squad. Most often, the identity of taxi squad members are not put front and center as this was. Though it struck me as unusual at the time, it now makes sense.

Iván Herrera

With Molina’s abysmal year at the plate (career low .526 OPS in just 54 games, less than half of St. Louis’ games played) and the need for Herrera to gain more MLB experience before Molina’s expected retirement after the season, this may not be a totally bad event for the Cardinals. Of course, neither Herrera, The Cardinal Nation’s no. 3 prospect, nor backup Andrew Knizner can match Molina’s prowess behind the dish, so St. Louis’ pitching may feel the loss on Saturday and Sunday in Arizona.

The positive is that Molina is expected to return to the Cardinals on Monday. The question of what is so important for him to again step away remains unanswered.

The Memphis Redbirds should be fine at catcher in the interim without Herrera as Austin Allen, Pedro Pages and Clint Coulter are with the Triple-A club.

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