Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Molina Is off on Consecutive Days

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Molina Is off on Consecutive Days

Article excerpt

CHICAGO * Describing his catcher as "just beat up," manager Mike Matheny gave Yadier Molina a second consecutive day off and explained that even with a series against the Cubs the Gold Glove catcher was not part of the lineup "that had the best chance to win."

"It's not, 'Let's stockpile (rest) now for later,'" Matheny said. "That's not the driver for this. It's 'What gives us our best chance for the day.' If we have a guy who is beat up and trying to push through something the answer is, yeah, there are times when your body just needs to take a day."

On his way to what will probably be a career high for innings caught, Molina has had his production at the plate fade in September. Hitless during the series in Milwaukee, Molina has hit three-for-20 (.150) on this road trip and six for 39 (.154) this month. He had his first career four-strikeout game Wednesday, and he has as many strikeouts this month (eight) as he does total bases.

The days off were only the second time this season he's missed consecutive games.

Matheny did not give a specific injury that kept Molina out of the lineup, though he did describe it as general soreness and not related to his surgically repaired hand or previously ornery knees. The previous time Molina missed back-to-back games he was resting an ailing knee. Molina has started 129 games at catcher this season, and with 15 games remaining in the season he could surpass career highs in innings caught (1,176 2/3) and games started at catcher (136).

All of that comes after a year that began with the Cardinals talking about finding more ways to limit Molina's workload as he enters his mid-30s.

"I've been very clear that he's going to be very involved in all those decisions," Matheny said Friday. "When you have a guy who has played as long as he has and at that position you know there's something that the results are not always indicative of how you feel. But we don't let that get in the way of what's best for our club. We want him out there, no doubt."

The Cardinals stole two games off for shortstop Jhonny Peralta already on this road trip. Kolten Wong, another of the starters pushed toward a career high in workload, had time off to heal his calf muscle at the start of the road trip. …

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