Finally! The Cardinals have called a 1 p.m. press conference, presumably to announce a contract extension with catcher Yadier Molina.
Not only am I dying to see the details. But it's all just speculation until he signs on the dotted line, no matter how inevitable some sources claim an agreement is.
If the Molina contract becomes a reality, it is going to be interesting to see how is shapes the Cardinals bench.
The team no longer will be in the position of needing to groom a potential future replacement for it's All-Star, Gold Glove receiver. Instead it can focus on putting the best team possible on the field.
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That's probably good news for Bryan Anderson who had fallen out of favor with the organization over the last couple of years. He's probably the most complete hitter out of the group of players who hope to become Molina's understudy while Tony Cruz is a better defensive player and had more potential to be the catcher of the future.
With Cruz a phone call away in Memphis, the Redbirds could afford to keep Anderson and his bat in St. Louis if they so chose.
Or... the Cardinals might just decide to keep them both. The nice thing about Cruz is that he can play third base or the outfield corners in a pinch. So he would give the team more flexibility to use it's catchers as pinch hitters or in a double switch without fear of being exposed elsewhere on the field by an injury.
The problem with that idea is that it could stunt both players' growth to keep them on the major league roster behind a starting catcher who plays about 135 games a year. That's not much playing time for two back-ups.
Ultimately, two catchers might be more than the Cardinals could handle on their bench.
The team is going to have some tough decisions to make with roster spots. Assuming that Jason Motte, Marc Rzepczynski and Fernando Salas are locks for bullpen spots, that leaves four spots in a seven-man pen for six well-qualified candidates: Scott Linebrink, Mitchell Boggs, Kyle McClellan, Eduardo Sanchez, JC Romero and Lance Lynn.
Seven bullpen pitchers means five bench players. We know one of them will be a catcher and one of them is certain to be Daniel Descalso, the team's top utility player. One of the spots will likely go to outfielder and second baseman Skip Schumaker. If Allen Craig is available to play, he'll get another spot. That's one left. And the most sensible way to use that spot would be to spend it on someone who can give the team some depth on the infield, especially up the middle.