The St. Louis Cardinals are sending two players to the All-Star Game, but one will not be frequent attendee Yadier Molina.
With the way that Yadier Molina started the regular season, it seemed like a near certainty that he would make yet another All-Star Game. Yet as he has dealt with injuries and recent struggles, hitting .218/.291/.295 in his last 28 days, that possibility decreased as fellow National League catchers Buster Posey and J.T. Realmuto continued to soar.
Indeed, Molina was left off the NL roster, with Nolan Arenado and Alex Reyes being the lone representatives for the St. Louis Cardinals in Denver, Colorado.
If this is Molina’s last season in MLB, and there is a chance that happens as he is in his age-39 season, it would be a disappointing result for him not to be on the All-Star team. Of course, there is a chance that changes, as Posey was recently diagnosed with a left thumb contusion that took him out of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It may not be the worst thing for Molina to take some time off during the break, however. The Cardinals need him, and everyone else on the roster, to remain healthy as they fight back from a near 10-game deficit in the NL Central. Molina will be a primary factor in that, considering his importance in the lineup and his elite ability to call games behind the plate, especially with a pitching staff that has been decimated by injuries, with Carlos Martinez being the latest example.
Even with Molina, it may not be enough to save the rotation that is now without Martinez, Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas for the foreseeable future. But Molina certainly gives them the best chance to withstand that, more so than most teams would in a situation as dire as this.
Don’t be surprised if Molina makes what would be his 10th All-Star Game appearance, though, something that seems especially likely with it appearing to be a matter of when, not it, Posey backs out following his injury.