JUPITER FL. (KMOV.com) -- A sleepy Friday got a shot in the arm when Yadier Molina appeared wearing full pads at Cardinal camp.
The veteran catcher, recovering from a second thumb surgery on his glove hand, began receiving work before full-squad drills took place.
Molina caught pitches from a machine, and while they weren’t Trevor Rosenthal fastballs, he said he felt strong.
“It feels OK. It wasn't anything hard, it was soft, but it felt good," he said. Whether he repeats the work tomorrow will depend on how he feels when he wakes up in the morning.
When Molina is not rehabbing, he’s on the field as another instructor. Brayan Pena, perhaps the happiest person in the entire league, talked catching all morning with various reporters. In his conversations, he was a fountain of praise for Molina the teacher.
“Especially when we talk about mechanics and technique, he has those hawk eyes. He has that blessing where he can see what you’re doing wrong. Right away he comes up to you and goes, ‘hey, just try this and let’s see how you feel,’” he said. “Having a guy like that, a future Hall Of Famer, God knows how many Gold Gloves, having a guy like that take the time and make sure you know he’s there for you, that says a lot about his character.”
Stephen Piscotty missed his second day of camp, as the young outfielder is recovering from food poisoning.
He arrived at the complex, but was still feeling weak, so the medical staff sent him home for more rest. He will likely return Saturday.
The new MLB rules had the clubhouse talking yesterday, and the conversation continued Friday. Kolten Wong, who took particular umbrage with the “neighborhood play” being reviewable, is hoping for more details when league officials visit camp.
“We need to know the clarification of how much we can push this envelope. It’s not really us trying to turn a double play by not using the bag, it’s us trying to get out of the way from the guy taking us out,” he said. “Now you put us in that kind of danger to make sure we’re on the bag at all times.”
Speaking of rule changes, managers and coaches will now be required to keep their mound visits to 30 seconds. Once a they leave the dugout, a clock will begin counting down, and once the it hits zero, the conversation must end and the manager or coach has to return to the dugout.
While it’s a nice step toward speeding up the game, not all mound visits are created equal. Say, for example, you’re visiting a pitcher who requires a translator; someone like Seung-hwan Oh, who the Cardinals signed this offseason.
Meet The Boss: Oh impresses in his full-squad debut
“I brought that up to the union, I talked to Tony Clark (executive director of the MLBPA) about it,” Mike Matheny said. “That potentially could take twice as long. It was duly noted, but I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen with it.”
Oh’s translator Eugene Koo has handled all of his communication (both internally with the club and externally with the media) so far. He’s done a great job, but that would be one stressful translation if the window remains that tight.
Michael Wacha had a pre-workout interview on MLB Network, much to the delight of the rest of the clubhouse. Teammates grouped around the TV, chuckling as the young starter answered questions just outside.
When he returned, the entire clubhouse gave him an ovation, to which he bowed gracefully.