As you all know, Yadier Molina is up for an extension, talks about which are going to resume when the season starts.
Well, recently, Ken Rosenthal wrote an article about Yadi’s influence on Puerto Rico’s entry into the World Baseball Championship (WBC). Here is the article.
According to the article, Yadi has been studying the opposing WBC teams for at least 6 months, even suggesting lineups. During the tourney, he helps arrange the pitching rotation, runs the pitching meetings, and suggests pitching changes based on the pitcher is doing and how tired he is. Yadi is often looking towards the next inning or two.
While technically Puerto Rico has a pitching coach (Ricky Bones), it seems to me Yadi isn’t just a coach on the field, but off the field is well. The article almost makes it seems like Puerto Rico doesn’t *need* a pitching coach since they have Yadi.
I covered this already here, approaching it from both sides, but this article, showing how much influence Yadi can have on a team, tilts me a little further onto Yadi’s side of things.
Now, I’m sure Yadi is teaching Carson Kelly some of this stuff, that’s the type of guy he is. However, as much as he tries, as much as he is taught, Kelly won’t be Yadi. You can’t teach a guy some of the stuff Yadi is doing. Yadi is basically an unofficial second pitching coach, and a lot of the stuff he has learned has come from experience. Well if Yadi moves on, he won’t be around to shape similar experiences for Kelly, by observing from the dugout. But if Yadi stays, Kelly will be the one sitting in the dugout, not getting any hands on experience. Yadi could point out something that happened while he was out there, but it won’t be the same.
Thinking about this, I thought about a possible solution: Make Yadi a coach.
The days of player-coaches are long gone, but maybe they shouldn’t be. Yadi is already an unofficial assistant pitching coach, so make it official. The WBC proves (as if we already didn’t know) Yadi is already doing a lot of what a pitching coach does. Plus, this guarantees him a job after he retires, if he wants one. It would also be a sign of respect from the organization, never a bad thing. So make him an official Assistant Pitching Coach.
Just some food for thought.
As always, thanks for reading.