03/31/09 5:37 PM ET
Molina getting work in with relievers
Catcher comes off bench in second successive game on Tuesday
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Tuesday marked the second successive day that Molina came off the bench in relief of Jason LaRue. The idea is to allow Molina to work with the Cardinals' relief pitchers, something he hasn't done much of this spring. On Tuesday, he moved from designated hitter to catcher in the fourth inning and caught the remainder of the game.
That actually allowed the Cardinals two benefits: not only did Molina catch Brad Thompson, Trever Miller and Jason Motte, but starter Adam Wainwright got an at-bat.
Where Molina hit in the batting order was noteworthy as well. Far from a speedster, he got the call to bat second on Tuesday. Manager Tony La Russa said he might consider using Molina in the No. 2 spot in the regular season, despite Molina's proclivity for hitting into double plays.
"It's an issue," La Russa said. "But everything's an issue in front of Albert [Pujols]. If he moves him over to second and the base is open, then you need a fourth-place hitter [to protect Pujols]."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.