How soon, if at all, does public pressure for Yadier Molina become a reality in the Cardinals clubhouse?
Speaking of a slow start, John Mozeliak was asked during Winter Warm-Up about Yadier Molina's role with the club and the potential controversy it creates with Oli Marmol being in a contract year, and instead of tempering those ideas, Mozeliak said: "It could become real, we'll find out".
It was clear though that Marmol was their their guy and they had full confidence in Marmol to lead the club in 2024, so I didn't take that as a sign that they were anticipating a change happening. But what it did signal to me is that Mozeliak kept the door open for conversation, and although fans would still talk about it anyways, Mozeliak could have used that question as a way to shut down the idea.
Marmol does not seem phased at all by it. In fact, he invites that kind of pressure, and he actually wants Molina around the club as much as possible.
And yet, if the team does start the season slow, or they do underperform as the year goes on, will that public pressure for Molina begin to grow in such a way that it becomes a reality in the Cardinals' clubhouse or front office? Ultimately, I don't think they would make a move because fans clamor for it, but I do think growing outside noise would likely be a result of growing internal reasons to make a chance at the manager spot.
Something we haven't really confirmed yet is whether or not Molina would actually be ready to step into that role. He clearly wants to manage, but is he ready to take on that full commitment? I think he would say yes, but do we know for sure?
And I also am a believer in Marmol. He has to get results this year to keep his job, but I'm not quick to run him out of town. How he begins the year though will shape a lot of this conversation.