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Articles Tagged Yadier Molina 

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Are the Cardinals and their long-sturdy catcher starting to show some cracks?

All winter, Isaac Bennett (whose work you’ve seen at BP Wrigleyville) and I have carried on baseball talk via Google Hangouts. We agree on more things than not, which is something neither of us can say about most of the other people with whom we get to consistently converse about this kind of stuff, so the conversations are usually easy. Two things divide us pretty sharply, though, at least at the moment. They are:

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Could sending Molina to the batter's box essentially without a bat be a better option for the Cardinals simply due to his elite talents behind the plate?

When Yadier Molina went to the bullpen to warm up Trevor Rosenthal in Game 3 of the NLCS, the speculation was totally warranted. Why not bring Molina in to catch with his oblique injury? That’s something that affects the swing, and if you can get some defensive work out of him, that’s where so much of his value is anyway.

In that light, we had received one of my favorite questions to the Effectively Wild podcast, which Ben and Sam passed along:

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February 7, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

6

Mike Gianella

The defending National League champs are replete with fantasy assets on both sides of the ball.

At the risk of pummeling home an obvious point, teams that advance to the World Series typically provide plenty of fantasy value across the board. The St. Louis Cardinals were no exception in 2013. Fifteen players provided double-digit Roto value in NL-only last year. Carlos Beltran left to join the New York Yankees, but with Matt Adams and Allen Craig already in the fold, Oscar Taveras waiting in the wings, and a handful of shrewd acquisitions, the Cards won’t miss a beat in 2014, and will once again be a good place for most of your fantasy shopping needs.

Projected Lineup

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Is the Cardinals' catcher even better than we think?

Several months after Yadier Molina made his major-league debut, we panned his career prospects in Baseball Prospectus 2005. “He’s every bit a Molina,” we said, “like his brothers in Anaheim: admirable defensive skills, inadequate bat.” Molina was 21 at the time, and catchers tend to peak later than players at other positions, so we acknowledged that there was “hope for improvement.” But not much improvement, evidently: “Expect Matheny levels of production with maybe a handful more homers.” Matheny levels of production are pretty terrible, even with a handful more homers. Given that pessimistic offensive projection, the comment’s conclusion didn’t come as a shock: “best suited to a backup role.”

Well, we nailed the part about the defensive skills. The rest seems silly now. But it didn’t start to look silly for a few seasons, and it took a few seasons more for it to become outright wrong. Through his age-27 season, Yadier’s career TAv (.237) was lower than his brother Jose’s through the same age (albeit in many more plate appearances).

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November 1, 2012 9:18 am

In A Pickle: Forever Changes

2

Jason Wojciechowski

Fewer incumbents have won Gold Gloves the past two years. Is this a sign of a more engaged voting base?

Gold Gloves are bunk. Let's talk about them anyway.

Baseball-Reference, because it has everything under the sun, has the lists of Gold Glove winners for the American and National leagues through history. Like other pages on B-Ref, it uses shading to indicate sequences and thus gives the user at-a-glance insight into how often the award at a given position changes hands. (It's also a feature of, inter alia, team defensive lineup pages, so that a position held on lockdown all year by one player is distinguished easily from a rotating cast or platoon situation.)

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September 14, 2012 1:19 pm

Raising Aces: The Man in the Ironic Mask

8

Doug Thorburn

BP's mechanics guru takes a break from breaking down pitchers to analyze their brethren behind the plate.

If there is one thing I’ve learned to appreciate through my study of pitching, it is the value of a great catcher. Backstops are the rock drummers of baseball, hiding behind a mountain of equipment while physically working harder than their teammates and functioning as the glue that holds the group together. Catchers are also invaluable in pitching evaluation, as their actions provide deep insight into the skills of the pitchers they serve.

One of the greatest epiphanies of my career occurred the first time that I focused all of my attention on the catcher for an entire ballgame and discovered the amount of information that can be gleaned about a pitcher by observing the actions of his batterymate. That was the day that I finally understood the distinction between pitch command and control on my own terms, as I watched dozens of pitches that found the strike zone yet strayed far from their intended locations. Observing the catcher is now a standard part of my baseball experience, providing a channel through which to view a pitcher's in-game ability.

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Ben and Sam discuss Yadier Molina's career year, catcher defense, and catcher aging, then talk about Omar Vizquel and the point at which clubhouse chemistry can't cancel out poor on-field production.

Ben and Sam discuss Yadier Molina's career year, catcher defense, and catcher aging, then talk about Omar Vizquel and the point at which clubhouse chemistry can't cancel out poor on-field production.

Episode 38: "The Greatness of Yadier Molina and the Not-So-Greatness of Omar Vizquel"

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September 5, 2012 11:17 am

The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, September 5

3

Matthew Kory

Matt explores the self-destructive Yankees in relation to the self-destructive Red Sox.

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What some of the reactions to last week's collision revealed.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Hunter Felt blogs about baseball, basketball and assorted U.S. sports for the The Guardian. He has contributed to Pop Matters and Et tu, Mr. Destructo? He also is occasionally (not) Terry Francona on Twitter in the guise of @NotCoachTito. You can follow him as himself as @HunterFelt where he mainly just makes really snarky jokes about life in Somerville, MA and raves about his kickass girlfriend.
 


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July 31, 2012 10:17 am

The Prospectus Hit List: Tuesday, July 31

6

Matthew Kory

The Rangers no longer have the AL's best run differential, and may not have the AL West's best run differential for long.

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A couple of catchers get new deals as the Cardinals extend Yadier Molina and the Royals sign up for more Salvador Perez, and the Reds lock up Sean Marshall.

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A comprehensive look at catcher defense by BP's latest addition reveals that the Rays may be getting plenty of bang for their buck from their new backstop.

For more about Max, see his introductory post here.


At the end of the 2011 season, the Tampa Bay Rays declined catcher Kelly Shoppach’s $3.2 million option for 2012, setting him free to explore the market for his services. On November 28th, they signed Jose Molina as his replacement for one year and $1.8 million.


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