4.5 reasons for Cardinals fans to be thankful this year

Here are four-and-a-half reasons to appreciate the Cardinals this Thanksgiving
St. Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox
St. Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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#3 - Be thankful Yadier Molina wants to come back.

Much of the Cardinals' pitching struggles in 2023 have been attributed to the transition at catcher from Yadier Molina to Willson Contreras. While a lot of criticism directed at Contreras was unfounded and misplaced, Molina's pitch calling was certainly a missing asset that would've masked the poor starting rotation last year.

During Molina's tenure in St. Louis, it was clear pitchers were most comfortable throwing to him rather than any other backup catcher. He always seemed to know what pitches to call and his preparation was unparalleled. It seems like the Cardinals unfairly expected Willson Contreras, a bat-first catcher, to replace Molina's defensive contributions, and that led to their pitching downfall in 2023.

Fortunately, the Cardinals are in talks with Molina to return to the organization in a coaching role. It's no secret that Molina wants to pursue coaching and managerial roles in Major League Baseball, and he's already been offered roles from other teams such as the Miami Marlins, but his preference for St. Louis should be appreciated.

Unless the Cardinals want to part with Oli Marmol after expressing confidence in his managerial abilities, Molina won't be able to manage right away in St. Louis. He also won't be the bench coach, as the Cardinals added Daniel Descalso earlier this week. According to reports, Descalso as the bench coach should not affect Molina's ability to come back, so he may take a smaller role first. The club is still in talks with him to find a good position for him. Be thankful for Molina's loyalty to the Cardinals as he could get a much larger role elsewhere.