The St. Louis Cardinals, one of Major League Baseball’s most storied franchises, are 71-91 (.435 winning percentage) this year, good for fifth place in the National League Central. They went from winning the division last year with a 93-69 record (.574 winning percentage) to last place in just one year.
The collapse on the mound was key, as the team’s ERA dropped from 10th (3.79) last year to 24th (4.79) this year. As bad as the pitching has been, the team hasn’t been able to fill the void left by the retirement of Yadier Molina, 41, who was the team’s starting catcher. Free-agent catcher Wilson Contreras struggled with pitchers early in the season and was limited to pinch-hitting for a while.
As a result, the Reds are exploring the possibility of bringing Molina back. It’s been speculated that he could return as a coach, not a player.
Martin Kilcoyne of FOX-2 St. Louis said on Thursday (July 14), “Molina could join the St. Louis coaching staff next season. The two sides have had conversations about it,” though it’s unknown if a final agreement has been reached.
Molina is one of Major League Baseball’s greatest catchers and a surefire Hall of Famer. The Puerto Rican native debuted with St. Louis in 2004 and spent 19 seasons as a one-club man through 2022.
Molina is a 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner at catcher with a career batting average of .224/.277/.2168 with 176 doubles, 176 home runs and 1022 RBIs in 2,224 career games. He was also a stellar defender, with a career stolen base rate of 4%.
Most importantly, Molina’s ability to read the pitcher’s mind made him a trusted advisor to the pitchers, and he became the mental anchor of the St. Louis team. A year later, Molina’s presence became even more apparent as the St. Louis mound collapsed. 스포츠토토
His leadership qualities are so strong that his addition to the coaching staff is expected to have a significant upside for the Reds. When Contreras was struggling to adjust to the team in May, Molina was there to offer encouragement and advice via video call. Molina’s love for the Cardinals is evident, and he’s expected to help rebuild a faltering team.
Molina, who retired as a player at the end of last season, also has “coaching experience. He led the Puerto Rican national team to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March of this year. The team advanced to the second round as the runner-up in the ‘deadly Group D’, including the first unofficial perfect game in the WBC with a perfect cold game in the eighth inning against Israel in the first round, but were eliminated in the quarterfinals against Mexico in a 4-5 upset.