Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina left yesterday's game with the Cubs after spraining his thumb tagging out the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo as he attempted to score on a sacrifice fly. He's getting an MRI on the thumb today and his prognosis is uncertain.
Molina is absolutely beloved by Cardinals fans. No question, he's a very good player, and one of the best defensive catchers in the league. But he's overrated in my book. This year, he's hit for a decent enough average, .270. But he's walked only 32 times, giving him a subpar .310 on base percentage (the league average for position players is .325), and he's had a power outage (23 doubles, 2 triples, four homers), giving him a truly bad .350 slugging percentage (the league average for position players is .411), the lowest on the Cardinals. There are those who'll claim that he's the team's best player; they really need to meet Matt Carpenter, Jason Heyward, Randal Grichuk, Kolten Wong, and Jhonny Peralta. Further, over the last 30 days, when the Cards have come down to earth (16-12 record, including 7-10 since September 1), Molina's been a zero with the bat: 72nd among 73 qualifiers in batting average (.213), 69th in on base percentage (.267), 72nd in slugging percentage (.250).
The point being: If he's out for the rest of the year, it'll be a blow to the Cardinals, no doubt. But it is nowhere near the blow, in terms of quality of the player lost, than the loss of Jung Ho Kang to the Pirates.