Catchers can often surprise us in their later years. Carlton Fisk stole 17 bases as a catcher at age 34, and did it again at age 37. A.J. Pierzynski hit .300 in a full season at age 38, a year after we thought he was done. In 2017, Yadier Molina fell one shy of hitting as many homers as he had in the entirety of 2015-2017. Molina joined the launch angle parade and turned around a four-year skid of beating the ball into the ground and even threw in nine steals from the catcher position for added fun. We don't get too many five-category contributors from that position, which is what makes Molina a coveted player even at this advanced age. He has not shown any signs of decline despite the excessive workload and the demands on his position. Bet on the power backsliding a bit, but don't bet on him slowing down too much offensively as this is a very safe skill set.
Molina, who will turn 36 during the 2018 season, says he plans to retire after the 2020 season, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports. He plans to play out a three-year, $60 million extension that begins this season and then ride off into the sunset. This is obviously not a done deal, as Molina could opt to continue playing after the 2020 season, particularly if he feels good physically and is coming off a productive campaign. However, with catching prospects Carson Kelly, who is already big-league ready, and Andrew Knizner on track to be ready to take over in a couple years, it will likely be a mutual parting of the ways after the 2020 season. Coming off an impressive 2017 season, Molina's current NFBC ADP (149.5) ranks sixth among catchers.
Molina (concussion) will be shut down for the rest of the season following the Cardinals' elimination from playoff contention, Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest reports. Molina has missed the past three games leading into Friday's series opener with Milwaukee, and instead of rushing him back onto the field, manager Mike Matheny has elected to be cautious and shut the catcher down. Over the course of the 2017 season, Molina slashed .273/.312/.439 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI in 136 games.
Molina (concussion) is not in the lineup against the Brewers on Friday, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports. Molina will miss a fourth straight game as he continues to recover from a concussion, while Carson Kelly takes over the catching duties for the series opener. Looking ahead, it appears as though Molina is still trying to get back on the field for one of the weekend contests, but with the Cardinals now out of playoff contention, manager Mike Matheny may choose to shut Molina down.
Molina (concussion) is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Cubs, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Molina is still hopeful of returning to action this season, but he'll remain sidelined for a third straight game as he continues to go through concussion protocol. There will hopefully be a clearer idea regarding his status for the weekend after he goes through another round of concussion testing Thursday. In the meantime, Carson Kelly will continue to start behind the dish for the Cardinals.
Molina (head) will undergo another round of concussion testing Thursday, Jenifer Langsoch of MLB.com reports. Molina is still hopeful of taking the field again this season. The veteran backstop has been out since having to exit Monday's game against the Cubs after back-to-back foul balls ricocheted off his mask.