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Tag:Yadier Molina
Posted on: September 4, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Cardinals may face Brewers without Molina

Yadier MolinaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cardinals may be without one of their most important players when they host the division-leading Brewers for three games starting on Monday, as catcher Yadier Molina is out of the team's lineup for the second straight day on Sunday and may not be ready to face Milwaukee.

"Hopeful is the best way to put it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Molina's availability for the Brewers series (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

Molina was suffering from soreness in his left calf muscle and told his teammates Saturday that he wouldn't miss Sunday's game. But when La Russa filled out the lineup for the last game of the series against the Reds, Gerald Laird was penciled in to catch Edwin Jackson.

The Cardinals also said they wouldn't promote Tony Cruz from Triple-A Memphis before the Redbirds' season ends on Monday because of the moves that would have to be made throughout the rest of the organization to make sure every team had a catcher.

Molina's hitting .294/.333/.451 with 12 homers, but his worth isn't best measured by any of those numbers or even WAR or any advanced stats, instead, it's best shown by 111 -- the number of games he's started behind the plate in the Cardinals' 139 games. Only Florida's John Buck (113) and Arizona's Miguel Montero (112) have started more games behind the plate this season than the three-time Gold Glover. Molina also has the reputation as one of the best catchers in the majors at handling pitchers.

Laird, 31, is hitting .235/.305/.365 with one homer this season and has started 20 games for the Cardinals this season behind the plate, including Saturday's victory. 

St. Louis enters Sunday's game 8 1/2 behind the Brewers in the National League Central and with 23 games remaining, would likely need another sweep of the Brewers to keep any hopes at the playoffs alive. The Cardinals swept the Brewers in Milwaukee last week.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 7:44 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 8:33 pm
 

Report: Yadier Molina fights with Gerald Laird

ReddickBy Evan Brunell

Not only did Yadier Molina go off on an umpire and earn a five-game suspension for it, but he reportedly got into a fight with Gerald Laird on Wednesday night, Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports on Twitter.

Laird, Molina's backup at catcher, reportedly called Molina a "cheater," but the context was unclear. That's all that's currently known about the fight at the time.

Tim McKernan of InsideSTL.com confirmed the fight, saying it occurred after the club arrived in Florida to begin a series against the Marlins. GM John Mozeliak termed the argument as a disagreement, but did not have any details, saying "boys will be boys."

"It was a frustrating day for everybody," he added, refering to playing a day game a day after Tuesday night's 11-inning victory. "It's water under the bridge."

More information will be posted if available, but many teams attempt to keep these types of incidents behind closed doors.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 4:21 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 5:59 am
 

Molina suspended 5 games for incident with umpire



By Matt Snyder


Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been suspended five games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for his actions in Tuesday night's game in Milwaukee. Molina was called out on a third strike he felt wasn't in the strike zone and went a bit nuts on home plate umpire Rob Drake, bumping him several times and -- as the MLB press release called it -- spraying him with spittle twice while arguing.

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Molina's suspension began Thursday night, with the Cardinals playing the Marlins in Miami. Molina will not appeal the suspension, per a press release from the Cardinals, so he'll be back August 10 against the Brewers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a bruised hand that would have kept Molina out of Thursday's lineup anyway was part of the consideration. But Molina also notes he's not appealing for a different reason.

"I am sorry for my actions and apologize for letting my emotions get the best of me," said Molina in a statement. "I want everyone to know that I would never intentionally spit on another person and that I have great respect for the umpires and the job they do. I accept full responsibility for my actions and will begin serving my suspension tonight."

The suspension is bad news for the Cardinals -- even though they surely knew it was coming. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Molina is a three-time All-Star who is hitting .293 with eight homers and a .775 OPS.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:25 am
Edited on: August 3, 2011 1:58 am
 

Molina bumps, spits on umpire

Yadier Molina

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Tuesday night's Cardinals-Brewers game was highly entertaining, but it took a very ugly turn in the 10th inning when St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina spit in the face of home plate umpire Rob Drake after bumping him at least three times.

Molina didn't appear to rear back and spit directly in the face Roberto Alomar-style, but he was yelling and Drake was the victim of collateral spit and obviously wiped his face multiple times. Even as Molina was in the dugout and still yelling at Drake, the umpire used his shirt to wipe spittle from his face.

Molina watched a called third strike at the knees to lead off the top of the 10th inning and went nuts on Drake -- bumping Drake twice and then after Drake tried to turn away, Molina came back and bumped him again. Molina was ejected after the first bump. Molina denied spitting on Drake.

"That was a bad call," Molina told reporters, including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I never spit on any face or man. In the moment, I was yelling. I didn't spit." 

Molina had to be held back by teammates and coaches as he continued to go after Drake.

Here's a gif of Molina going berserk from Twitter user @soccerkevin11:
GIF - Yadier Molina going completely bonkers at the home plat... on Twitpic

And for the record, Pitch F/X showed the pitch was a ball -- even though that's no excuse for Molina's reaction.

Umpires refused to comment after the game. 

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Offense rules in NL Central

By C. Trent Rosecrans
2011 All-Star Game

SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL West

The National League Central has the most teams, some of the game's brightest stars and perhaps its best story in the Pittsburgh Pirates. How deep is the talent in the NL Central? The last two men to win the National League MVP are first basemen in the division and neither makes this NL Central All-Star team. The pitching isn't too deep, at least in terms of starters, but this lineup can absolutely mash the ball.

Ramon HernandezC Ramon Hernandez, Reds: This one is a surprise, as Yadier Molina -- perhaps the game's best defensive catcher -- is an All-Star and a deserving one at that. But the nod here goes to the guy Reds manager Dusty Baker calls "Clutch Man Monie." On opening day, his three-run homer gave the Reds a walk-off victory and he's been producing at the plate since, including a ninth-inning homer yesterday against Brewers closer John Axford and the delivered the game's winning hit in the 13th inning Wednesday night in St. Louis. Hernandez's overall line -- .316/.374/.526 -- makes up for the difference between his defense and Molina's. Molina is hitting a respectable .279/.329/.408, but Clutch Man Monie has been money, especially for a player who is still essentially splitting time with Ryan Hanigan.

Prince Fielder1B Joey Votto, Reds: Votto was the National League MVP in 2010, but Prince Fielder's been the league's MVP for the first half of this season. Fielder is hitting .302/.418/.588 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI, tied for the most in the league. Votto's been good as well, but Fielder's power numbers put him over the top. So why is Votto listed here instead of Fielder? Because as I filled out the lineup card, I looked and had Votto as DH and Fielder at first. Anyone who has seen those two with gloves on their hand know you'd rather have Votto (especially with Starlin Castro also in the infield) playing the field. So Fielder wins the spot, but Votto gets the nod, if that makes sense.

Lineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Andrew McCutchen PIT CF
2 Rickie Weeks MIL 2B
3 Joey Votto CIN 1B
4 Prince Fielder MIL DH
5 Lance Berkman STL RF
6 Ryan Braun MIL LF
7 Aramis Ramirez CHI 3B
8 Ramon Hernandez CIN C
9 Starlin Castro CHI SS

Rickie Weeks2B Rickie Weeks, Brewers: Another Brewer nips a Red. While Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips is far and away a better defensive player, Weeks is having an incredible offensive season so far. Weeks is hitting .275/.345/.476 with 15 home runs. Phillips has 10 more RBI, but that's not all that surprising considering Weeks is used as a leadoff man. 

Aramis Ramirez3B Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: It's easy for Ramirez to get lost among the Cubs' mounting losses, but the 33-year-old is having a solid season, which may be his last with the Cubs. The Cubs hold a $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012, with a $2 million buyout. The Ricketts family may want to find a cheaper option, but Ramirez has produced this year, hitting .298/.346/.495 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI. He's also playing a decent third base, much better than his reputation would suggest. 

Starlin CastroSS Starlin Castro, Cubs: Sure, he's a mess defensively, but the kid can absolutely rake. Castro is hitting .305/.334/.428 with two home runs and 38 RBI, while stealing 10 bags as well. The 21-year-old is the player the Cubs will build around in the future, and for good cause. He also doesn't have a lot of competition in this division. The Pirates' Ronny Cedeno has been good defensively, but lacking offensively. The Cardinals' Ryan Theriot is hitting well, but was a below-average defensive second baseman and now he's playing short and then there's Yuniesky Betancourt, who has been terrible offensively and defensively.

LF Ryan Braun, Brewers: Talk about a stacked offensive division -- in left field you've got Matt Holliday and Braun. Braun, though gets the nod. He's been healthy (of course, Holliday's problems may make his numbers more impressive) and produced, hitting .320/.402/559 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI. He's also stolen 19 bases to boot.

Andrew McCutchenCF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: If Bruce Bochy doesn't want him, I'll sure as heck take him as my starter in center. A Gold Glove-caliber fielder, plus a .291/.389/.491 slash line and 12 homers and 15 stolen bases. McCutchen should be in the MVP discussion with the season he's had. If it weren't for McCutchen, Michael Bourn would be the pick. Bourn's hitting .288/.350/.399 with 35 stolen bases. Between those two and Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs, you could put together a heck of a relay team.

Lance BerkmanRF Lance Berkman, Cardinals: Sure he's a first baseman playing in the outfield, but who cares because he's made up for his atrocious defense with an offensive rebirth. The Cardinals gambled on Berkman this offseason and have been rewarded to the tune of .287/.399/.598 with a league-leading 23 home runs and 62 RBIs. The division also has Jay Bruce, Corey Hart and Hunter Pence, so it has right fielders to spare (not to mention Jon Jay, who played right field while Berkman was playing first for Albert Pujols.)

Prince FielderDH Prince Fielder, Brewers: This is a bit of a cheat, since I initially picked Fielder at first base. The decision here was between Votto and Holliday, and in a toss-up, I went with the reigning MVP, although either has a good case. Votto's hitting .319/.434/.497 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, while Holliday is hitting .320/.417/.570 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI. Votto's seen fewer pitches to drive than he did a year ago, but is still producing. And once I was filling out the lineup card, I went with Votto at first base and Fielder as the DH.

Johnny CuetoSP Johnny Cueto, Reds: This division doesn't have a Cy Young candidate in the bunch, but does have several good young pitchers, including the 25-year-old Cueto, who started the season on the disabled list but is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 11 starts this season. The Cardinals' Jaime Garcia is 8-4 with a 3.23 ERA and one of the best young left-handers in the game and Chicago's Matt Garza has been a victim of pitching for the Cubs, going 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA and an xFIP of 2.86.

Sean MarshallRP Sean Marshall, Cubs: The Cubs' left-hander is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA, striking out 43 in 41 1/3 innings, while walking just nine. His xFIP is 2.27 and he's induced ground balls on 60.4 percent of the balls put in play, a good characteristic for a middle reliever, who will often come into the game with runners on base. Apologies to the Reds' Bill Bray and the Cardinals' Jason Motte.

Joel HanrahanCL Joel Hanrahan, Pirates: Hanrahan leads the division in saves with 25 and hasn't blown a single save this season.  Of the eight runners he's inherited this year, none of scored. He has 33 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings and eight walks. He's allowed just six earned runs (good for a 1.37 ERA). The division has several good starters, including the Reds' Francisco Cordero (17 saves, 1.69 ERA), the Brewers' John Axford (23 saves, 2.90 ERA) and the Cardinals' Fernando Salas (15 saves, 2.41 ERA).

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 3:39 pm
 

National League pitchers and reserves

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols may be back before the All-Star Game, the Cardinals said on Saturday, but he won't be on the All-Star team. Here's the rest of the National League team:

National League

Pitchers

Jonny Venters, Braves (players' pick)

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (players' pick)

Cole Hamels, Phillies (players' pick)

Jair Jurrjens, Braves (players' pick)

Joel Hanrahan, Pirates (players' pick)

Heath Bell, Padres (manager's pick)

Matt Cain, Giants (manager's pick)

Roy Halladay, Phillies (players' pick)

Tim Lincecum, Giants (manager's pick)

Brian Wilson, Giants (players' pick)

Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (manager's pick)

Cliff Lee, Phillies (player's pick)

Tyler Clippard, Nationals (manager's pick)

Reserves

OF Justin Upton, Diamondbacks (manager's pick)

3B Chipper Jones, Braves (players' pick)

SS Starlin Castro, Cubs (manager's pick)

2B Brandon Phillips, Reds (players' pick)

OF Jay Bruce, Reds (players' pick)

1B Joey Votto, Reds (players' pick)

SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (players' pick)

1B Gaby Sanchez, Marlins (manager's pick)

OF Hunter Pence, Astros (players' pick)

OF Carlos Beltran, Mets (manager's pick)

OF Matt Holliday, Cardinals (players' pick)

C Yadier Molina, Cardinals (players' pick)

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Votto, Fielder to battle for NL starter at 1B



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Although St. Louis' Albert Pujols still leads the voting at first base for the All-Star Game, the race for first base will likely come down to two other National League Central first basemen, Cincinnati's Joey Votto and Milwaukee's Prince Fielder.

Even if Pujols hangs onto his lead over Votto and Fielder, he went on the disabled list on Monday with a forearm fracture and is unlikely to be available for the July 12 All-Star Game at Phoenix's Chase Field. However, All-Star rules stipulate if a voted starter in unavailable, the honor goes to the second-place finisher at the position.

In the next-to-last National League balloting update before the July 3 announcement of roster, Pujols is second in total votes for NL players behind Milwaukee's Ryan Braun. Braun leads the voting with 3,034,057 votes while Pujols has 2,806,864 votes.

Joey Votto is second in balloting among first basemen, narrowly edging the Brewers' Prince Fielder 2,270,211 to 2,066,327. Both Votto and Fielder certainly have convincing arguments. Votto, the reigning NL MVP, leads the NL in on-base percentage (.449) and is third in batting average (.327), while Fielder is second in the league in OPS (1.031), is tied for the league lead with 20 home runs and leads the league with 61 home runs.

The second base spot has a similar split between a Red and a Brewer, with Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips leading Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks 2,286,378 to 2,094,502 with Weeks closing in.

Philadelphia's Placido Polanco leads Atlanta's Chipper Jones by more than a million votes at third base, while Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki has a respectable lead over the Mets' Jose Reyes at shortstop. The Braves' Brian McCann leads the Cardinals' Yadier Molina by nearly half-a-million votes. The outfield's top three are Braun and the Cardinals' duo of Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, along with the Reds' Jay Bruce, are the next three in line.

Complete balloting is up at MLB.com.

The American League update will be released tomorrow.

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 2:48 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 2:49 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Hudson won't play second fiddle

Tim Hudson

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

3 upTim Hudson, Braves -- While the baseball world was focused on Zack Greinke's first start as a member of the Brewers, the Braves' starter was sort of overlooked. Not after the game. Hudson allowed just one hit in his shutout victory, a fourth-inning double to Rickie Weeks. Hudson walked Weeks with two outs in the ninth, the only walk he allowed in the game. He struck out six.

Aneury Rodriguez, Astros -- Making his first big league start, the 23-year-old Rodriguez allowed just one hit -- a triple by Chris Valaika -- in his five innings of work against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, closer Brandon Lyons blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth to deny him the victory. A Rule 5 pick from the Rays in December, Rodriguez had made nine relief appearances before replacing Nelson Figueroa in the rotation on Wednesday.

Adam Lind, Blue Jays -- Lind went 4 for 4 with a two-run homer in the Blue Jays' 3-2 victory over the Rays, his fourth multi-hit game in a row. He's hit in each of his last nine games, going 18 for 35 with five homers and 13 RBI in that stretch.


3 downLos Angeles Dodgers -- The team may not be able to pay its players (well, MLB will cover them, so no worries for the players), MLB vice president Rob Manfred said Frank McCourt isn't cooperating with the commissioner's office, Andre Ethier didn't play on Wednesday with a shoulder injury, Jonathan Broxton was shut down with a shoulder injury -- oh, and the team lost to the Cubs. But hey, the throwback uniforms were pretty cool (but not as cool as the Cubs').

Boston rain -- Ervin Santana had a no-hitter after five, but rain delayed the game, halting his no-hit bid. He was replaced by Rich Thompson after the rain delay of 2:35. Santana had struck out seven in four innings, walking one and hitting another. The Angels had a combined no-hitter into the seventh inning before Jed Lowrie broke it up with a single. The game started at 7:10 p.m. ET and didn't end until 2:45 a.m. ET Thursday morning, a 5-3 Angels victory in 13 innings. 

Cardinals defense -- The Cardinals had four errors in Wednesday's 8-7 loss to the Marlins. Yadier Molina, the best defensive catcher in the game, had two errors and pitcher Chris Carpenter added a pair himself.

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