Cardinals' Yadier Molina to undergo 'very small procedure' on knee, expected to be ready for spring training

Yadier Molina, the backbone of the St. Louis Cardinals, will undergo a relatively minor procedure on his knee in the coming days, according to Brian Stull of St. Louis Baseball Weekly. Fernando Ribos Reyes of Primera Hora first reported the news.

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed to Stull that Molina will have a "very small procedure" on his knee, and he's expected to be ready for the start of spring training in two months. In fact, the cleanup procedure will only sideline Molina for a few days.

This past season was Molina's 14th full big league season. He started 120 games behind the plate en route to his ninth All-Star Game selection and ninth Gold Glove. Molina is far and away the leader in innings caught since 2005, his first full season behind the plate:

  1. Yadier Molina: 15,044 1/3 innings
  2. Russell Martin: 12,957 2/3 innings
  3. Brian McCann: 12,823 innings
  4. A.J. Pierzynski: 11,878 2/3 innings
  5. Kurt Suzuki: 11,181 innings

No other catcher has caught at least 10,000 innings since 2005. Molina has been incredibly durable throughout his career. It is sort of amazing he hasn't had more knee problems over the years. In the grand scheme of things, this offseason's cleanup procedure is not a significant red flag.

Molina, 36, hit .261/.314/.436 (103 OPS+) with 20 home runs in 2018. He is owed $20 million in each of the next two seasons and the Cardinals have an heir apparent in catching prospect Andrew Knizner. St. Louis figures to seek a veteran backup for Molina this offseason after trading Carson Kelly in the Paul Goldschmidt deal.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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