Cardinals have plan to reduce Yadier Molina’s workload

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No catcher logs more time behind the plate than Yadier Molina, but the Cardinals are taking steps to cut back his workload this season.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Molina won’t be in the lineup for Friday’s spring training opener and the team’s plan is to play him sparingly early in the exhibition season.

We’ll see what happens once the games actually mean something–Goold notes that Molina got a grand total of one day off in the Cardinals’ first 38 games last season–but Molina is one of the most important players in baseball and he’s signed through 2017, so generally speaking keeping him from wearing down physically seems like an excellent idea now that he’s on the wrong side of 30.

Report: Braves to promote Ronald Acuña

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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MLB.com’s Mark Bowman confirms a report from Daniel Álvarez Montes of EVTV Miami that the Braves are calling up outfield prospect Ronald Acuña from Triple-A Gwinnett.

The move is obviously much anticipated and expected, as Acuña is considered the top prospect in baseball among those who hadn’t been called up to the majors yet. Acuña has had a slow start with Gwinnett, as he’s batting only .215/.301/.277 in 73 plate appearances. However, he has turned things around somewhat in recent days, batting .379 with a double and a homer since April 17.

Acuña should be in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Reds and he should be a lineup regular going forward. The expectations are high for Acuña, who signed with the Braves as an international free agent in July 2014.