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.

Blue Jays place Aaron Sanchez on 10-day disabled list

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The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.

Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.

Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.