St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina exited Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs after taking a foul tip to the groin, and it sounds like the injury he suffered was relatively serious.
According to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Disptach, Molina underwent emergency surgery on Saturday night and is expected to be out for a month.
The play looked about as painful as it gets:
Molina, who is 35 and recently reached a very impressive milestone, has provided the Cardinals with stability at the catcher position for well over a decade. He’ll be tough to replace both in the lineup and calling games, but it’s better for him to miss a month now than in September.
If it feels like Yadier Molina has been catching forever, it’s because he pretty much has.
Molina on Saturday surpassed Johnny Bench in career innings caught with 14,493.3, which places him 13th on the all-time list. The former Cincinnati Reds MVP sent his congratulations to the Cardinals catcher on the honor:
That many innings behind the plate sure is a trudge, which is something Molina recognizes.
“It’s an honor. I’m just blessed that God gave me health to be here. I feel good about it,” Molina said after Saturday’s game, via FS Midwest.
“I’ve met (Johnny) a few times — he’s one of the best. It’s huge. It’s just special to be on that list.”
At 35, Molina still has a ways to go to get to the top of the list, so he might not make it to Pudge Rodriguez territory. But just surpassing Bench shows how long he’s been doing it and how well he has, too.
Yadier Molina explained after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks why he went after opposing manager Torey Lovullo during a bench-clearing incident.
Lovullo came out of the dugout to protest a strike three call on AJ Pollock in the second. While complaining about the call to umpire Tim Timmons, Lovullo mentioned the St. Louis Cardinals catcher by calling him a bad word. That set Molina off, leading him to be restrained by Timmons and then Cardinals manager Mike Matheny while going after Lovullo.
After the game, Molina said that Lovullo called him a “motherf—er” twice.
Molina said that Lovullo should not be allowed to talk to a player or umpire that way and hoped Lovullo might be fined.
Molina avoided ejection despite bumping Timmons, who later called the contact “incidental.” Lovullo was conciliatory after the game and expressed regret for his behavior.
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras stirred up some drama last week with some comments about himself and his veteran counterparts at the position, but now he is taking time to clarify his remarks.
In a recent interview with Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times, Contreras said that he no longer studies film of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina or the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey behind the plate.
“I used to watch a lot of those guys,” the 25-year-old was quoted as saying. “But now I’m watching myself because I know that I’m going to be better than them. That’s my plan. That’s my [mindset].
“I know that I have a lot of talent, and I thank God every day for giving me this kind of talent that I have,” Contreras continued. “In my mind, I want to be the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Well, Contreras’ pronouncements appeared to anger Molina, who took to Instagram on Wednesday to post a picture of himself along with Posey and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez from the 2016 All-Star Game.
“Respect the ranks, newbies!” Molina’s caption roughly translated to. “Here with those who have proven that they are the hard ones!”
A few hours after Molina’s post, Contreras headed to social media himself to set the record straight, tweeting that his quotes had been misinterpreted.
Contreras may very well become one of the best backstops in the game after hitting .276 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs as a second-year player last season. But regardless of whether or not you think that he said anything wrong here, this is not the first time that he has appeared to show up an opponent.
Yadier Molina seems to have his mind made up on his future.
The St. Louis Cardinals catcher said Monday that he intends to play out the final three years of his contract and then retire after the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Molina signed his three-year deal prior to the 2017 season, and it appears he was well aware at the time that he was signing his final deal as a player. Though he turned 35 last July, he remains quite productive for St. Louis, having hit .273 with 18 home runs — the second-highest tally of his career — in the 2017 season.
There appears to be something of a rift between the St. Louis Cardinals’ manager and their franchise cornerstone.
On Thursday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny strongly implied that he felt catcher Yadier Molina is dealing with a bit of fatigue from watching him run the bases, with backup catcher Carson Kelly getting a slightly larger role instead.
Molina clearly took umbrage with that assessment, posting Matheny’s quote on Instagram and calling it “misinforming.”
Molina is a proud guy who has chafed at questions in the past. He’s also a gamer who wants to play every single day. The fact that he chose to respond this way would seem to indicate that he’s particularly annoyed by this, though.
Yadier Molina took offense to questions he received after the Cubs-Cardinals game on Thursday about his potential use of an illegal substance.
The turning point in the game occurred in the 7th when Kyle Schwarber blasted a 3-run shot to put Chicago up against St. Louis 5-4. The lead runner was able to reach base on a dropped third strike. Molina was unable to locate the ball in the dirt because it literally stuck to his chest protector rather than deflecting and going elsewhere. The bizarre incident led to some prodding from the media after the game, as expected, though Molina didn’t care for it much.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon had a funny response to the incident.
The Cubs could have asked for an investigation, but there are two risks there. One, they already had a positive outcome thanks to it with their batter reaching base after a strikeout, so why look into things further? Two, it’s somewhat accepted that pitchers on all teams use pine tar or other substances, so you don’t want to open up a can of worms that can backfire and hurt your own staff if you call someone else out for it.
The real question would be if in this case, the sticky substance is on the catcher’s equipment rather than the pitcher’s.
Yadier Molina reportedly did not want to negotiate a contract extension during the season. It looks as though there will be no need for that.
Molina was potentially headed towards free agency after this season, although there is a mutual option in his contract for the 2018 season at $15 million with a $2 million buyout. Despite being 34 years old, Molina is still among the best all-around catchers in the game and will continue to be paid like it, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
The Cardinals are the only major league team Molina has played for since making his debut in 2004. This reported extension would all but guarantee St. Louis would be the only team he suits up for over his outstanding career.
Molina has been an All-Star seven times, won two World Series rings, and taken home eight Gold Glove Awards as well as four Platinum Glove Awards. Not only is he the heart and soul of the Cardinals, Molina was also the emotional leader of the Puerto Rican team that advanced to the final of this year’s World Baseball Classic.
The St. Louis Cardinals heard Yadier Molina say he was intrigued by the possibility of becoming a free agent, and they apparently didn’t like it.
Just on Saturday, Molina said he would not negotiate a contract extension during the season and that he was intrigued by the possibility of becoming a free agent.
Two days later, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the sides are making progress on a contract extension. Heyman says Molina wanted a four-year deal, while the Cardinals countered at two. They reportedly are meeting in the middle.
Molina is set to make $14 million this season. His contract includes a mutual $15 million option for next season, with a $2 million buyout. Molina likely feels he is worth more than that.
Buster Posey is the highest-paid catcher this season at $22.1 million, while Russell Martin at $20 million and Brian McCann at $17 million are all making more than Yadi, who is arguably the best all-around catcher in the game. He is due for a raise.
Could Yadier Molina be entering his final season as a St. Louis Cardinal?
The All-Star catcher, who is entering the final guaranteed year of his current contract, admitted Saturday that the thought of going into free agency intrigues him, and he expects to be paid on par with the highest-paid catchers in baseball. He also said that he won’t negotiate with the Cardinals once the regular season kicks off.
Molina turns 35 in July, and at such a physically demanding position, a huge investment would be risky at this stage of his career. He did hit .307 in 2016, though he threw out just 21 percent of would-be basestealers, a career-worst mark. He can still do this, though. St. Louis will have a difficult decision to make.