The St. Louis Cardinals (10-23, worst record in National League) are in panic mode right now. The starting pitching staff is getting hit hard, bright prospects are being sent down to the minors and now expensive catcher Willson Contreras is being moved out of position. This team needs a familiar face to hold this house of cards together.
Beloved Redbird Yadier Molina may be retired, but he is still doing what he can to lend some wisdom to the franchise he called home for his entire 19-year MLB career. He shared his observations to his replacement Contreras before the decision was made for Andrew Knizner to start behind home plate Saturday and for the immediate future.
“(Molina) said he was watching the games and he said that we're not executing pitches, Contreras told John Denton of MLB.com. “I'm not blaming anybody. I'm not pointing fingers at my pitchers because I'm on their side. But we just need to be better executing.”
Those words are especially intriguing following the news that the former everyday catcher will play at designated hitter and in the outfield for the next couple weeks. They imply that the subpar pitching is a joint problem and not solely on Willson Contreras. Manager Oliver Marmol and the front office do not have a lot of options when it comes to their starting rotation, though. It is easier to experiment with a catching change and hope that breeds drastically better results.
St. Louis has consistently gotten off to rocky starts in games, with pitchers falling behind in counts. A low strike rate presumes Contreras to be a work-in-progress when it comes to framing. Unfortunately, the Cardinals have no time to work out kinks in their fundamentals.
The best course of action might just be to give Yadier Molina a blank check and his old uniform.