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St. Louis Cardinals: What is going on with Yadi?

cardinals 4/22

Yadier Molina has been one of the best hitters on the Cardinals. It’s time we appreciate that fact because it probably won’t last for much longer.

Remember where we were about a month and a half ago? Remember when we were freaking out about Yadier Molina‘s second thumb surgery? Remember how we didn’t think that he was going to be ready by Opening Day? Yeah. that was a good scare.

Molina has started the season on fire. He is batting a blistering .345 (19-45). Among Cardinals who regularly start games, Molina is only behind Aledmys Diaz in batting average on the team. For a lifetime .283 hitter, what Molina is doing right now is something fans should appreciate. and he is not only hitting the ball a lot, he is hitting it with authority. 3 of his extra base hits this season (2 doubles 1 triple) bounced right off the top of the wall. All were line drives.

Molina is most known for his defense. Owner of the last 8 Gold Gloves at the catcher position, the average baseball fan can usually only identify Molina for what he does behind the plate.  This year is no different. In 15 games, Molina has already thrown out 3 batters trying to steal and he has stopped countless wild pitches from getting past him. He is well on his way to his 9th consecutive Gold Glove. What he is doing at the plate is just a tremendous bonus for the Cardinals.

 

Can Molina keep up his .345 batting average? Probably not. So, what should we expect to see?

Being a good hitting catcher is one of the hardest tasks in sports. A couple years ago, Joe Mauer was an everyday catcher who led the league in batting average. The amount of media hype that surrounded Mauer near the end of the season just exemplified how hard it is to hit for a high average as a catcher.

Eventually, Molina will go through a slump at the plate. Every baseball player goes through them and it is inevitable. Eventually Molina will go back to being an average to decent hitter at the plate. He will likely end the season hovering around his lifetime average of .283. However, for now, we simply can’t appreciate what Molina is doing at the plate enough.

Photo Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

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