Yadier Molina: Sensei needs a student
Yadier Molina has been the backstop the Cardinals’ hoped he would be since taking over in 2005, but he is not getting any younger and has missed time due to injury the past three seasons. For the catcher position, there’s been little more than draft action to date, with no clear gains yet. 2012 draftee Carson Kelly (converted from 3B) may lack the consistent offense, but as Steven McNeil says the defense has enough to carry him through the system, but is likely a few years away yet.
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Cody Stanley, who posted a promising .400 average in 10 major league at bats, must serve an 80-game suspension (the second infraction since 2012). For years, Tony Cruz has stepped into the starting role during several Molina injuries, but lacks the offense the team needs in situations where Molina is unavailable.
The Mets’ Kevin Plawecki would serve as a bona fide backup to Molina and with Travis d’Arnaud serving as primary catcher, perhaps the Cardinals could trade an outfielder for him, but the price may be Grichek or Piscotty to swing the trade. The next draft might find a replacement, but there is no answer in the in the organization to help fill the void right now.
Ultimately, there are plenty of questions regarding this team. There could be many moves made this offseason, or there could be one or two depth guys added and the team rolls out roughly the same team that won 100 games last season, with the addition of a full season from ace Adam Wainwright. Ultimately, overreactions are apart of being a fan. But, this fan will not do such a thing, as this team will rebound and will be one of the best teams yet again.