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Cardinals Reason #3: Molina Will Start Opening Day

Up next on our position countdown is the most consistent position for the Cardinals over the past couple of years.

When most baseball fans think about the best catchers around the league over the last decade, one of the first names that will come up is Yadier Molina, the heart and soul of the St. Louis Cardinals.

This offseason, there was a lot of drama surrounding Molina’s health and his injured left hand. In a span of a couple months, he underwent two surgeries to fix a torn ligament in his left thumb. At times, it didn’t look like Molina would be ready for Opening Day. With his last surgery coming in only January, fans expected Molina to start the season on the DL. However, he has recovered well and on schedule and will definitely be ready when the season opens this Sunday. Thumbs up to the training staff for getting Molina ready so quickly.

Molina, though never the best batter at the plate, is the best defensive catcher in the game. Period. His accomplishments speak for how great he is defensively: he has won the Gold Glove for his position every year since 2009. What Molina brings to this team with his defense, his chemistry with the pitchers, and his leadership, is invaluable. The Cardinal’s don’t need Molina to be great at the plate. They just need him to do what he has done for the last decade and they will be successful.

This offseason, with Molina’s injury, the team brought in Brayan Pena, who will be a very reliable backup catcher this season. Last season, in 108 games as a Cincinnati Reds, he hit .273 over 108 games in a similar role. Should Molina have any setbacks, Pena will be ready to fill in capably.

The catcher position is set and it is deep. Molina is a stalwart. He will play a lot of games this year behind the plate and he will anchor this team with his presence. Behind him, Pena will be a capable backup who can hold his own when his name is called upon. Just pray that Molina can stay healthy and the catcher position is all set.