First off, let me say that Yadier Molina is my favorite Cardinal and I can’t wait until he returns, possibly as soon as tomorrow. I’m also a big Michael Wacha fan, and am looking forward to his return. That said…
1) Yadi is our zen master. He manages the pitching staff better than any other catcher. Don’t be surprised if starters performances (even Justin Masterson’s) improve when he gets back behind the plate. He’s also a good hitter and will be welcomed back into the lineup by fans. He however, is not Giancarlo Stanton. What we’re lacking is power and while Yadi will bring lots of skills to the plate, elite power is not one of them. Maybe his pitcher management, defense and other offensive skills will offset that, but I doubt it.
2) With 29 games left and a five man rotation, if Michael Wacha returned right now, he’d probably get five starts at best. Five games can defenitely make a difference since things are still close, but keep in mind he’ll probably be a little rusty, plus there’s that anemic offense (even if it is a little better with Yadi). Given those factors (plus managing his his pitch count carefully, meaning his innings may be limited) chances are he won’t have as big an impact as everyone is hoping.
Yadi and Wacha will definitely help the team, but this is still a flawed team, our offense isn’t good, and Yadi alone can’t fix that. Plus there’s Adam Wainwright’s dead arm as well as Justin Masterson’s and Shelby Miller’s struggles. Wacha can only replace one of them. The key will be if Yadi’s Catcher Kung Fu can coax a better performance out of the one Wacha doesn’t replace. Even then, a division title might be a stretch.
Keep in mind I’m not trying to be pessimistic here, just realistic. I hope I am proven wrong.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading