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Molina is out for the season

The Cardinals say that catcher Yadier Molina is out for the rest of the season with a sore knee.





Fortunately, an MRI revealed no structural problems and rest is expected to cure the problem in plenty of time for spring training.





An added benefit is that Molina's absence will allow the Cardinals to play Bryan Anderson and Matt Pagnozzi in meaningful games to allow management to get a sneak preview of the spring training battle to be Yadi's backup because of the retirement of Jason LaRue.





blog post photo

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina tags Padres shortstop Miguel Tejada out at the plate Sept. 18 at Busch Stadium. AP photo.





Molina finished the season with a .262 batting average and 62 runs batted in. He also hit six homers for the fourth time in the last five seasons -- in 2008 he hit seven -- including a pair of dramatic grand slams.





Molina is a .268 career hitter. But his 2010 production is something of a disappointment because he improved so much over the offensive struggles he had early in his career. In 2008, he hit .293 and in 2009 he hit .304. He also hit into double plays in bunches. But Yadi's defense was as good as ever.





He didn't have nearly as many pickoffs as we have become accustomed to in 2010. But that's because word has made it around the league and runners don't stray as far off base as they used to. But that shows in the fact that he nailed 33 of 68 runners who tried to steal against him.





Get well, Yadi.



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