What Other Position Could Yadi play besides Catcher

One thing I read about Buster Posey recently was how he might soon be moved out of the catcher position to make sure they could keep his bat around as long as possible. This got me thinking about Yadier Molina, as he’s gotten to be a pretty good hitter himself the last few years.

I searched for someone who was similar physically to Yadi and found Carlos Santana.

Both are 5 Foot 11, Yadi weighs 220, while Santana is at 210, so not a huge difference there.

Santana started out as primarily a catcher, in recent years he has played Catcher, First Base, Third Base, Left Field and been a DH. DH is out, and we’re full of Outfielders, but First or Third? Hmmmm…

Now as to whether he has no value at a position beyond the plate, consider these numbers from 2011 to 2013…

Year Batting Average On Base Percentage Slugging Percentage
2011 .305 .349 .465
2012 .315 .373 .501
2013 .319 .359 .477
2014 .282 .333 .386

Not bad eh? Certainly above average. That might’ve been average on, say, Harvey’s Wallbangers, but certainly isn’t nowadays. Yadi’s 2014 numbers may have been a little lower, but he was injured part of the year, as well as the fact that catchers is the most draining position on the diamond. Sure, it may not have appeared that way from 2011 to 2013, but he’s getting older, so his body isn’t as durable as it used to be. Plus, I remember a shot of Yadi in the dugout during the middle of season, when summer is it’s hottest, he looked the skinniest I’d ever seen him, like he had sweated off all of his fat and muscle. Why do you think Posey will probably move to another position or that Santana has caught increasingly less games?

Now, I know we’ll miss him on defense. We’ll miss his arm, his psychic link with the pitchers, and all of his other skills, but I keep hearing everyone call Tony Cruz Yadi jr. Let’s find out if that’s warranted. Plus, if Yadi’s in the infield, I guarantee he’ll still be like a coach out there. Yes, I know Tony’s bat needs work, but I never said this plan was flawless.

Plus, Yadi doesn’t have to play out there full time. In addition to days off, he can platoon at First Base with Matt Adams, or spell Matt Carpenter at Third Base. He certainly has the arm for it. First and Third are less demanding positions while still allowing us to keep his above average bat in the lineup.

Just some food for thought.

As always, thanks for reading.

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One thought on “What Other Position Could Yadi play besides Catcher”

  1. I think it was La Russa that said you keep Molina at catcher for his defensive and game calling skills, anything you get offensively is just gravy.

    I think it also is important to see who Posey and Santana are replacing at first base. In Santana’s case, he was better than the first baseman he was replacing. Same with Posey and Belt. So it’s potentially offensively advantageous to move them because they don’t have a standout first baseman. Is Molina better than Adams or Carpenter? No. So Molina moving to get a bulk of playing time at either of those positions at the expense of either player isn’t going to happen.

    One thing I’ve seen suggested is Molina playing first base against some left handed starters to spell Adams. I think that’s a smart idea and that’s about the only time I’d do that. That would give Molina probably 20-30 starts a year at first base, get him 120 at catcher and that’s 140-150 games a year for Molina. That also gets Cruz about 40 starts behind the plate too to see if he can start developing as a hitter and a better rapport with the pitching staff.

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