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Monday, October 13, 2014

UPDATED: Cardinals Injury Update: Yadier Molina will not play NLCS Game 3, 4

By on 10/13/2014 04:00:00 PM

As reported Sunday, Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina left Game 2 of the NLCS with a strained left oblique (video here and below). Now we have word that Molina will not play in San Francisco for Games 3 and 4 of the series. The Cardinals have two other catchers on the roster, the veteran A.J. Pierzynski and backup Tony Cruz.

UPDATE: 10/13/2014 Molina did make the trip to San Francisco, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Neither Cruz nor Pierzynski is an attractive option for the Cards. When Cruz replaced Molina in Game 2 he allowed a runner to score from second on a wild pitch. Pierzynski, 37, is generally considered a poor defensive catcher but hit only .244/.295/.305 (OPS+ 69) in 30 games this year. Cruz provided even less at the plate, .200/.270/.259 (OPS+ 49) in 50 games. 

Molina was out for 40 games from July 10 to August 29 with a torn ligament in his thumb, during which period the Cardinals hitting, pitching and caught-stealing all suffered. Six times an All-Star, winner of six Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger and two World Series rings (2006 and 2011) Molina hit .282/.333/.386 (OPS+ 101) with seven homers and 38 RBI during the 2014 regular season (110 games). In the postseason he went 5 for 21 (.238).
For his career, Molina has hit  .284/.339/.402 (OPS+ 99) but is more valued for his defense, play calling and management of the pitchers. Now in his 11th season, all with the Cardinals, the 31-year-old Molina was drafted in 2000 (4th round) and made his debut June 3, 2004. The brother of two other major-league catchers, Bengie Molina (retired) and Jose Molina, Yadier is signed to a ten-year $96.5 million contract that takes him though 2017 with a team option for 2018.

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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