Yadier Molina is off the disabled list and back in the Cardinals’ lineup today for the first time since July 30, returning after missing the minimum 15 days with a sprained right knee.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has said repeatedly that he plans to give Molina more rest than usual down the stretch, although that’s one of those things that tends to be easier said than done if Molina picks up where he left off hitting .330 and the team is fighting for the NL Central title.
St. Louis is just 12-13 when Molina isn’t in the starting lineup this season, compared to 56-38 when he starts, and while those type of numbers tend to overstate the impact one player can make on a baseball team there’s no arguing that he’s one of the most valuable all-around players in the league.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.