(Jupiter, FL) Expect a little bit less of Yadier Molina this season. As has become his custom the last couple of years, the St. Louis Cardinals catcher has again reported to Spring Training leaner than the season before.
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“There was no goal,” shared Molina, who said he lost 15-20lbs just working to get in better shape and not to lose a specific amount.
“I think historically, Yadi has come into camp in leaner shape if you will,” agreed General Manager John Mozeliak. “This off-season he looked like he hit it really hard. I think he’s looking at sort of longevity of career and how to help manage that. If he feels like losing some weight benefits him for that, I think it’s great.”
“We were joking earlier, he looks like a second baseman,” stated Adam Wainwright. “He and Oquendo must’ve been working out a lot together, because they both look great.”
Listed at 220lbs on the roster, Molina was 187lbs when the Cardinals drafted him in the fourth round of the 2000 amateur draft.
“Yadier continues to amaze me in a million different ways,” continued Wainwright. “As he gets older, he just keeps getting better and I think he knew he needed to slim down maybe for his knees or he just feels better lighter, I don’t know. But he looks great.”
Losing weight is one way to ease the wear and tear of a season, but the idea of playing a few innings at first base has also been discussed.
“Mike Matheny and the coaching staff and I we’ve talked about a lot of different things in terms of how to secure a healthy Yadi for 162–but he loves to catch,” said Mozeliak. “That’s really what he wants to do. So trying to manage that is going to be the key.”
Molina has played 73 innings at first base in his career.
MORE INFIELDERS ARRIVE
–Dean Anna, Pete Kozma, and Jhonny Peralta arrived for camp on Saturday, raising the total to 14 position players to report early. They joined their teammates taking batting practice in a light workout. The official report date is February 26th.