Matt Holliday is leading the NL with a .349 average? Been there, done that. Lance Berkman is close behind at .338? Sure, no problem. Joey Votto is cruising along with another great season? Yep, that’s what we’ve come to expect. Placido Polanco is slapping the ball around consistently enough to post a .335 average? No big deal. Makes you wonder why the Phillies even need Rolen sometimes. Yadier Molina is good for a hit once every 3 at-bats? Say what?! Who did WHAT to somebody’s frisbee for how many chickens? Run that past me one more time, please. This time speak a little more slowly and draw it in crayon just to make sure I get the numbers right.
5. Yadier Molina, STL .333
Okay, that’s just not funny, especially early in the morning to a guy who hasn’t had a full pot of coffee yet. If someone would have told me before the season started that the Cardinals would have 3 hitters in the top 50 in batting average at one point, I would have guessed Pujols, Holliday, and Freese (and in that order). Berkman’s presence is nearly as shocking as Albert’s absence from this list. Neither one is even close to being as big a shock as Yadier’s inclusion, though.
The man is about a .270 lifetime hitter. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but practically everybody in baseball knows the man gets written into the lineup every night he wants to play based on everything else he can do on a baseball field. We’re talking about one of the “Fabulous Catching Molinas” here. Getting .285 out of a Molina is like getting .315 out of just about anybody else in my opinion. That’s completely biased hyperbole, but I do feel the same way about Yadi’s brothers as well. After all, Bengie was so good, he managed to secure a WS Championship before a single WS game was even played in 2010. That takes some skill (and a timely trade).
So, what’s my explanation for Yadi’s early season surge? My theory is that less is more. More precisely, it’s the fact that Yadi is getting more rest early in the season, and he’s on track to play about 138 games this season. Actually, it’s more than likely that he’ll play less than 130, and that would probably be great for the long-term health of the All-Star, Gold Glove, all-around superstar catcher. With Gerald Laird going on the DL, Yadi may have an easier time talking his way into the lineup on what should be his rest days, but I’m hoping that TLR sticks to his guns on this one. A well-rested Yadi appears to be a productive one.
TIDBIT: The screenshot was taken a few days ago, and Yadi has now dropped to 7th with a .324 average. Yes, that’s right. Yadi’s average has DROPPED to .324. That just rolls off the tongue quite nicely.
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