The Cardinals will increasingly need to consider a long-term replacement for Yadier Molina, to say nothing of preparing for a season in which he’ll be looking to return from two thumb surgeries, as Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Frederickson spoke with two potential future options behind the dish, Michael Ohlman and Carson Kelly. He adds that St. Louis GM John Mozeliak is still looking to add another veteran option to the mix this spring for depth purposes. While the Cards remain confident that Yadi will be ready to go for 2016, he’s still sporting protection for his thumb at present. Of course, the club still seems committed to relying on Molina — along with new backup Brayan Pena — for the bulk of its backstop duties this year.
Here’s more from the game’s central divisions:
- MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch provides some notable Cardinals pen updates in a reader mailbag post. Reliever Jordan Walden is expected to go through a normal spring ramp-up, though she says there’s still uncertainty in his shoulder. The organization does not appear to have any immediate interest in extension talks with closer Trevor Rosenthal, Langosch adds, though there’s little urgency since he only just reached arbitration.
- Reds backstop Devin Mesoraco says that he’s feeling well and looking forward to a return after undergoing hip surgery last summer, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. “I’m good. I’m anxious to get back out on the field here,” Mesoraco said. “It’s been a long haul with rehabbing and working out. Everything is feeling the way that it should, the way that we planned.”
- There’s no shortage of left field options for the Reds as camp approaches, Sheldon writes, listing Yorman Rodriguez, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Jake Cave, and Kyle Waldrop. “Those are the guys,” said GM Dick Williams. “Some of those guys can play multiple positions. There are guys that can play multiple outfield spots. [Juan] Duran will be in camp, and [Tyler] Holt. [Jesse] Winker, Waldrop and some of the younger guys, too.”
- The Twins never had serious conversations with third baseman Trevor Plouffe about a long-term deal while negotiating his arb salary this year, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets. Of course, there’s plenty of time to chat this spring if there’s interest, but it’s not clear that Minnesota would or should pursue a lengthy pact with the 29-year-old, who remains under team control for one more year via arbitration.
- Meanwhile, the Twins are not interested in southpaw reliever Eric O’Flaherty, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports on Twitter. O’Flaherty was said to be showcasing for scouts yesterday, but it seems that Minnesota won’t be one of the clubs taking a closer look.