St. Louis Cardinals: Preseason Roster Prediction Part One
Remember that this is a pre Spring Training games prediction for how the Cardinals will open the season. With that said, let’s get into who I believe will be the two catchers that the cardinals break camp with.
Brayan Pena – Starter
Before you get all bent out of shape this to me sounds like a no-brainer. Yadier Molina will eventually be the Cardinals’ catcher of choice, but right now there’s no guarantee that he will be ready for Opening Day. With the team’s comments regarding “not rushing” and “patience” with Molina, it seems obvious to me that they are going to err on the side of caution and I have no problem with that.
I would much rather have Molina ready for May-October than make sure Molina is ready for Opening Day and then lose him for half the season because the team rushed him. That means that Brayan Pena will be the receiver for Adam Wainwright in Pittsburgh, marking the first time since 2004 that Yadier Molina has not started behind the plate for the Cardinals on Opening Day.
Pena will be a solid option for the Cardinals to start the season. He has a pretty good bat, and has already started to get to know the staff and is well on his way to erasing any fan memory or preference of Tony Cruz. If Pena starts off well, he could give the Cardinals the affordability to make sure Yadier Molina is 110%.
Eric Fryer – Backup
Fryer is what he is. He is a replacement level backup catcher that has caught a cup of coffee in the big leagues in each of the five seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Minnesota Twins. In total Fryer has played in a total of 65 games and tallied 140 big league at-bats, totaling seven doubles and two homers in that time.
There’s not much to like about Fryer and his .243 average, the .329 OBP is okay for a backup catcher. However, that’s really about it. There’s just not much to him and that’s okay. As I stated before, he is a replacement level backup, who is there simply to shuttle between AAA and the MLB as needed.
Next: Starting Infield