Things are going to be quite a bit different for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2023.
Yadier Molina, their rock behind the plate since 2005, retired along with Albert Pujols at the end of the 2022 season.
While his longtime batterymate Adam Wainwright will stick around for one more season, the Cardinals will have a different look with Willson Contreras behind the plate.
What may never be matched again is Molina’s ability to shut down the running game, catching base-stealers in their tracks.
In fact, since 2005, Molina’s first full season behind the dish, the Cardinals have allowed the fewest stolen bases in all of baseball, and by a pretty wide margin.
Because Yadi is the 🐐 #STLCards pic.twitter.com/JmejUjjbLJ
— Jeremy A. Boyer 🎹 (@JABsMusic) February 4, 2023
This ultimately speaks to the ability of Molina to throw out runners attempting to steal a base.
With him gone, we may see teams run a little bit more frequently against the Cardinals.
Running on Molina was simply a fool’s errand.
It was almost a guarantee that Molina would be able to stop any runner attempting to steal.
In second place on the list of fewest stolen bases allowed is the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But they certainly are not a close second by any means.
In fact, 2-5 on the list are tightly packed.
The Cardinals are at the top by a very large margin, and it ultimately goes to show just what Molina could do behind the plate, even in the latter years of his career.
St. Louis will certainly miss having No. 4 behind home plate, and it’ll be something that fans will have to get used to as well.NEXT: The Cardinals Were Wise To Avoid Trading For Frankie Montas