Molina (illness) landed on the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday.
Molina is one of several Cardinals who have tested positive for the virus over the past several days. He's reportedly asymptomatic but won't be able to return from the injured list until testing negative for the virus twice. Matt Wieters should be the Cardinals' top catcher in Molina's absence, though whether the team is able to return to play before Molina is cleared remains to be seen.
Molina is currently asymptomatic despite testing positive for COVID-19, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
The Cardinals remain shut down until at least Friday in an attempt to halt the spread of the team's coronavirus outbreak. The fact that Molina is asymptomatic is undoubtedly a good sign, but he'll still need to produce a pair of negative tests before being allowed to return to the field. Whether or not he'll be ready to take the field before the Cardinals as a whole are cleared to do so remains to be seen. Matt Wieters would likely be the primary catcher in his absence.
Molina revealed on his personal Instagram page Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19.
The Cardinals are in the middle of a week-long stretch without any games due to the team's coronavirus outbreak. Molina will now have to isolate until he's symptom-free and tests negative for the virus twice. Matt Wieters lines up as the team's top catcher in Molina's absence, with Andrew Knizner also in the mix.
Molina, who went 1-for-3 in a loss to the Pirates on Sunday, has hit safely in each of his first three games of the season.
The seemingly ageless catcher rapped out a trio of singles over the weekend set against the Pirates while also accruing one RBI and only striking out once. It's essentially par for the course for Molina, who came into 2020 having hit .270 or better in eight of the previous nine campaigns.
Molina, whose contract expires at the end of the 2020 season, is not a lock to finish his career in St. Louis, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Saxon notes the franchise legend could find himself elsewhere in 2021 and beyond if he "overplays his hand" in terms of salary demands. Conversely, if Molina displays a willingness to split time with a prospect such as Andrew Knizner or Ivan Herrera next season and accept a salary commensurate to a part-time role, his chances of remaining in the fold are likely to be much higher. Molina was originally slated for a robust $20 million salary this year had the season unfolded normally, so it remains to be seen if he and the Cardinals will be able to arrive at a 2021 figure that both deem reasonable.
Molina hit .212 (7-for-33) with three RBI, one walk and four runs across 12 Grapefruit League games before spring training was suspended.
The veteran backstop's spring numbers, albeit poor, are very likely nothing to be concerned with at this point in his storied career. Molina showed he had plenty left in the tank last season over 113 games, slashing .270/.312/.399 with 34 extra-base hits (24 doubles, 10 home runs) and 57 RBI across 452 plate appearances. While the promising Andrew Knizner continues to bide his time at Triple-A Memphis, Molina projects to once again draw the bulk of starts this season with fellow veteran Matt Wieters giving him an occasional breather.
Molina and the Cardinals have been in contact about a contract extension that would keep the catcher in St. Louis through 2021 or 2022, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Molina has graded out as more of an above-average defender than an elite one the past two years and his OPS has fallen in three consecutive seasons, but what remains of his skill set along with his ability to handle a heavy workload makes him a viable No. 1 catcher. Because of that along with the value Molina brings in the clubhouse, it's not too surprising that the Cardinals are at least considering extending him through his age-39 or age-40 season. Molina's track record of durability isn't quite as impeachable as it once was, but when he's healthy, he'll be a good bet to start five or six times per week in 2020. His ability to compile stats while consistently providing decent batting averages is enough to make him a worthy fantasy option, even in leagues that start only one catcher.
Molina went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Tuesday's 7-4 loss to Washington in Game 4 of the NLCS.
The home run came in the fourth inning off of Washington starter Patrick Corbin, who had struck out nine of the 13 hitters he had faced prior to Molina's at-bat. Molina, 37, had a very quiet postseason, slashing just .152/.216/.242 in 33 at-bats with just the one extra-base hit. His power numbers had already slipped during the regular season, including a .399 slugging percentage, indicating his days as an upper-tier fantasy catcher may be behind him.
Molina is not starting Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.
Molina will give way to Matt Wieters behind the dish for Wednesday's series finale after playing all 19 innings in Tuesday's 3-2 loss, going 2-for-8 with a double and four strikeouts.
Molina went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and four RBI to help the Cardinals to a 9-7 victory over the Diamondbacks on Monday.
The backstop reached double-digit homers for the sixth time in his career with this fifth-inning two-run blast off Alex Young. Molina has been hot lately, with two long balls and three multi-hit efforts over his last four games, but the 37-year-old still sports an unspectacular .270/.308/.403 slash line across 109 games.
Molina went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in Saturday's 9-8 victory over the Cubs.
Molina connected off Craig Kimbrel's first pitch leading off the ninth inning to tie the score 8-8 for the catcher's ninth long ball of the season. The 37-year-old had been struggling in September, as coming into the game he was 16-for-66 (.242) for the month with no homers and three RBI. Molina now holds a .270/.310/.398 slash line with 52 RBI in 392 at-bats this season.
Molina, who went 1-for-4 with a stolen base in a win over the Nationals on Monday, is hitting just .196 (10-for-51) with three doubles, one RBI, four walks and five runs over 56 plate appearances in September.
Molina headed into the month with a hot bat, as he'd generated a .333 average across 68 August plate appearances over 17 games. The veteran backstop has clearly hit the skids since the calendar flipped, however, and he hasn't laced any extra-base hits in his last eight games.
Molina is not in Thursday's lineup against the Rockies.
He is hitting .243 with zero home runs in 10 games this month. Andrew Knizner will start behind the dish while hitting seventh.
Molina is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Reds.
Molina will sit for Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader action after going 2-for-4 with a run scored in the Cardinals come-from-behind victory against the Reds in Game 1. Andrew Knizner will pick up the start behind home plate and hit eighth.
Molina is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds.
Molina will head to the bench for Game 2 of Saturday's twin bill after going 2-for-4 with a home run -- his eighth of the season -- and two RBI in Game 1. Matt Wieters is starting behind the dish and hitting seventh in his stead.
Molina went 3-for-3 with a double, two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Brewers.
Molina entered the series against the Brewers with four home runs on the season, but he's now hit three long balls in the first two contests this week. The veteran backstop has come alive at the plate in the last nine games, going 14-for-31 with two doubles, three home runs, nine RBI and seven walks.
Molina went 2-for-4 with a two-run single, a solo home run and a walk in a win over the Brewers on Monday.
Molina's fourth-inning solo shot off Gio Gonzalez was his first since May 14, with that contest also marking his most recent multi-RBI tally prior to Monday. Molina has just two extra-base hits over the 13 games he's played since returning from an extended stay on the injured list, but he's carrying an eight-game on-base streak and has seven RBI over his last seven contests.
Molina went 3-for-5 with a run in a win over the Rockies on Friday.
Molina is still in search of his first home run since returning from a stay on the injured list due to a thumb strain, but he's begun to show some signs of life after struggling his first few games back. The veteran is 7-for-16 with a double, two RBI, four walks and two runs over his last five games, impressively striking out just once over those 20 plate appearances.
Molina went 2-for-3 with an RBI single, two walks and a run in a win over the Brewers on Tuesday.
Molina generated one of only two multi-hit efforts on the night for the Cardinals, hitting safely for the third time in the last four games in the process. The veteran backstop's multi-hit effort was his first since back on June 28, with a thumb injury that wiped out 29 games between July 7 and Aug. 11 playing a role in that drought. Molina is also still in search of his first extra-base hit since returning to action Aug. 13, a span of seven contests.
Molina is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Reds.
The veteran backstop started four straight games following his return from the injured list Monday, going 2-for-17 with two singles and four strikeouts. Since the thumb issue first cropped up in late May, Molina has hit just .225/.239/.258 with zero home runs in 25 games. Matt Wieters will get the nod in his absence.
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