The St. Louis Cardinals don't give Yadier Molina a lot of days off, for a starting catcher, and perhaps Saturday was a good example of why—Molina sat and the Cardinals were promptly shut out by Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies, with backup Tony Cruz going 0-3. If Molina's your fantasy baseball catcher, then, expect plenty of time in the lineup until the next rest day; the last game he'd missed before this one was back on May 16.
All in all it's hard being Tony Cruz, who won a hard-fought battle for the backup catcher position in Spring Training and has been rewarded for it with 14 games and 33 plate appearances. All the time off hasn't been good for his numbers—he's just 4-33 with a double, and has yet to appear at third base, his other position, though that may change so long as offense-focused third catcher Steven Hill is on the roster in relief of the injured Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter.
Molina is hitting .316/.363/.513 this year with 13 doubles and six home runs after signing an extension that will keep him in St. Louis through 2017 in the offseason. He's on pace to play a startling 148 games, which will probably come down over the course of the season.
More Cardinals news handpicked from SB Nation St. Louis:
- With all these injuries it's important to get to know your Cardinals call-ups. Meet Steven Hill, the third baseman/catcher the Cardinals brought up when Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig were both struck down.
- Of course, the Cardinals have called up yet another rookie since then. Here's more about Chuckie Fick, the reliever the Cardinals called up after optioning Fernando Salas to AAA Memphis.