Yadier Molina is back after testing positive for COVID-19.
The St. Louis Cardinals were not the first MLB team to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak, but they did have the worst one to date. The team was off from July 30 all the way until Aug. 15 and has now played eight games in five days since returning.
The first step was getting back on the field in general. Next up was getting all the key players back, and one of the cornerstones of the franchise in Yadier Molina has finally been activated after dealing with a case of COVID-19.
Yadier Molina officially set to return
Molina played in the first five games of the season before the outbreak hit, and the Cardinals went into a shutdown that lasted over two weeks. He had four hits in his five games and will finally be back on the field as the team prepares to play its 14th game of the season.
The veteran catcher made his debut with the Cardinals back in 2004 and has been a regular starter every season since 2005. The nine-time Gold Glove winner is a valuable asset both at and behind the plate and is also a team leader. Having COVID-19 kept him away from the club, and just having his presence back should be a boost as the Cardinals seek a return to some sort of normalcy.
Matt Wieters and Andrew Knizner were holding down the catching duties in Molina’s absence and combined for two hits in 25 at-bats. Wieters also just hit the IL, so Molina is coming back at the perfect time.
The Cardinals will always be better with Molina in the lineup this year, and 2020 could be his final year with the team. Not being able to play would have been a major disappointment and he is now hopefully back for good.