On the heels of multiple offseason thumb surgeries, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is having his best offensive season since 2013.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was very worried about St. Louis Cardinals mainstay catcher Yadier Molina‘s expedited return from that second thumb surgery.
I thought it was foolish to have him swinging the bat right at three months out from a surgical procedure that was needed because it didn’t work the first time. Especially in games that didn’t count for anything ahead of the six month grind that is a Major League Baseball season.
We all know the trouble this team would face if it were to lose Yadi for a big chunk of time again. I didn’t see the perceived risk being anywhere close to being worth it considering the small returns to be had.
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But, ho-hum, Yadi sure has made all that worry seem silly with what he’s done in the first month and a half of regular season baseball.
Entering play on Thursday, Yadi is among the league leaders in batting average (.325) and on base percentage (.410). Although he has yet to hit a home run, his 10 doubles have him on pace to better the 44 he had in his near-MVP 2013 campaign.
He’s already been good for more than a Win Above Replacement, if you’re into those sabermetric stats. At 1.2 WAR at roughly the 1/5th mark in the season, were he to stay on that pace, he’d be flirting with MVP considerations once again.
There really isn’t any reason to mention defense. He’s yet to commit an error (shocker), he’s going to win another Gold Glove.
If we wanted to nit-pick, we could point out the fact that he already has three passed balls, after having no more than three for the entire year in 2013 or 2014.
But, I think we can give him a pass (no pun intended) in that department.
We are so incredibly spoiled with this guy. His impact on the club is immeasurable. There isn’t another catcher like him in the game, and there may never be another one when he decides to hang it up.
He’s going to be a coach for us one day, I have no doubt about that. Hopefully that’s after another five or six years of catching and another ring or two added to his resume.