During a pregame press conference prior to Game 5 of the NLCS, Skip Schumaker said that St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is the National League Most Valuable Player.
Oct 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina celebrates next to the National League championship trophy after game six of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Image Credit: David J. Phillip/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
To Cardinals fans, it should come as no surprise. It’s just a matter of whether Molina splits the MVP vote with Matt Carpenter.
Schumaker was asked what Molina means to the team from the perspective of not only playing with him but also playing against him.
“In my opinion, not only is Yadi the MVP of that team, but the league,” the former Cardinal said. “What he means to them defensively, commanding the game, shutting down the running game almost completely. If you watch him really closely during the game, he’s moving in outfielders, telling infielders take a step right or left. He’s one of the smarter baseball people I’ve been around and maybe thee smartest. He makes the team that much better and makes those young pitchers so good because they know they can trust him and not have to shake him off at any point. That is a really good thing to have confidence‑wise when you’re a young pitcher.”
“He’s like having a manager on the field, Ron Darling said during the TBS broadcast of NLCS Game 6 about Molina. “They don’t need their pitching coach to come out; he takes care of it for them.”
No surprise there.
“St. Louis has a lot of stars but the backbone of the team is Yadier Molina,” Darling also said. “He accelerates the growth of all their young pitchers. He takes charge, they follow what he wants them to do and everything is fine.”