St. Louis Cardinals: Doors are opening for Yadier Molina as manager
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is well positioned to become a successful manager in the major leagues.
Nineteen-year St. Louis Cardinals veteran catcher Yadier Molina will take the reins as the skipper for team Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which could lend itself to other managing opportunities down the road. Molina also announced in April that he will be the manager for a Venezuelan winter ball team, Navegantes del Magallanes, starting next year.
Now in his final major league season, Molina is a prime candidate to be a major league manager in time. He has long been lauded for his ability to call a game and handle pitching staffs, and many former catchers have transitioned seamlessly into managerial roles.
While the Cardinals seem to be in a good place with current manager Oliver Marmol, the same could have been said for the team under Mike Shildt, who was unexpectedly fired after last season. It’s possible that Molina could be a manager the Cardinals turn to, but if he did choose to return to Major League Baseball, he would likely have a different role at first, such as a bench coach.
Molina might also begin his post-playing career as a minor league manager or coach; his wisdom could be more effective at lower levels where players aren’t as adept at the sport yet.
As bitter as it may be, there is also the chance of another team snagging Molina for his services. The Cardinals should be the favorite should the opportunity come along, but if another team offers him a more lucrative position or salary, even a lifelong Cardinal could leave the nest.
Molina should thrive in this role for the World Baseball Classic, and Puerto Rico is looking to field a strong team, with Carlos Correa, Edwin Diaz and possibly Marcus Stroman among those likely to suit up for the squad.
If Molina takes to managing — there’s always a chance that it’s not his cup of tea — Major League Baseball will come calling. Cardinals fans will obviously hope he returns wearing the birds on the bat, as he could be an exceptional mentor to whomever the Cardinals place behind the plate in future years.
It will be an exciting World Baseball Classic for Molina and Cardinals fans interested in seeing how he directs a team from the dugout, and Molina’s future after playing looks bright.