St. Louis Cardinals: Andrew Knizner needs more playing time
Yadier Molina has been the St. Louis Cardinals’ mainstay at catcher since 2004. With Yadi turning 38 next year, second-year catcher Andrew Knizner needs to get more major league opportunities.
Let me start out this editorial with the following message:
- Yadier Molina should be your starting catcher for the 2020 season.
- Yadier Molina should receive the bulk of starts for 2020.
- Yadier Molina is not being thrown to the curb because of the new kid.
Do we have a clear understanding of where I stand? Good. I know it is considered blasphemy to discuss not playing the Yadfather as St. Louis Cardinals catcher, but father time is undefeated.
Bernie Miklasz on 101 ESPN discussed this topic a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, Bernie, we can be adults when discussing Yadi’s playing time.
As Yadi enters the last year of his three-year, $60 million dollar contract, it should be noted that he plans to retire at the end of his current contract. In addition, in the last two seasons, Yadi has not reached 130 games played due to injury.
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I will be the first to admit that what we saw from Knitzner this year was … not great. In his 18 games with the Cardinals, the rookie barely got on base with a .293 wOBA and really struggled to create any offense with a 78 wRC+. He also failed reach replacement level with a -0.2 fWAR.
Yet what makes Knizner an exciting prospect is his ability to adapt his offensive game at each level of professional baseball. When given ample playing time from Rookie ball all the way to AAA, Knizner succeeded.
So if Kniz is considered to be the heir apparent to Yadi, wouldn’t you want to give him more starts and/or at-bats to get him ready for when Yadi retires?
With the Cardinals most likely looking to improve their team via internal options due to their cap space, it should behoove Mike Shildt and the Cardinals to give more opportunities for young guys such as Andrew Knitzner.