Cardinals’ Rumors: Options to fill in during Yadier Molina absence

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Aug 28, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Adam Lind (24) hits a single in the sixth inning as Cincinnati Reds catcher Brayan Pena (29) watches at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

What can we expect from Brayan Pena in an extended role?

Molina is not going to be available for most of spring training, so that makes Brayan Pena’s role much larger than originally intended when the team signed him earlier this offseason. So, in an expanded role, what can we expect from Pena?

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As of right now, Pena is expected to net the Cardinals a 0.3 fWAR in 39 games for the Cardinals, according to Steamer. But, let’s look at what he has provided in his career. Pena boasts a career slash line of .260/.300/.338 with 92 career doubles. Pena shined last season with a .273 average and .339 OBP, but only had 17 doubles and was unable to come up with a single home run or triple in 108 games last season.

Pena in 434 games behind the plate has been very reliable allowing only 24 passed balls, with his worst defensive side coming in his arm. The scouting report from fans on Fangraphs has his arm strength rated at 38 and his accuracy rating at 35, as opposed to Molina’s 92 and 96.

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Naturally, anyone not named Yadier Molina is going to be a drop off from Molina. So, if Molina misses any more time and is not ready for the season, Pena may be able to fill in a little better than Tony Cruz has in the past. Expecting him or anyone else to come in and significantly add that much value is extremely unrealistic.