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Grapefruit League debut of Cards’ Molina delayed 1 day

March 26, 2022 GMT

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The Grapefruit League debut of St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina has been pushed back another day in order to give him more time to hone his swing, manager Oliver Marmol said on Saturday.

Molina had been scheduled to play in Sunday’s game against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie.

“After yesterday and waking up, he just wants to get his legs under him and get some at-bats today,” Marmol said.

The 10-time All-Star Molina is now scheduled to make his debut on Monday against Houston.

“He feels playing at home on Monday probably makes more sense,” Marmol said.

Molina, 39, missed the first week of what could be his final spring training for personal reasons.

On Friday, he played in his first live simulated game against minor leaguers, catching pitcher Miles Mikolas for four innings and going 0 for 4, flying out twice and grounding out twice.

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The nine-time Gold Glove winner also threw out a would-be base stealer.

Molina’s decision to spend another day working on his swing isn’t unusual for a late-arriving veteran.

“Nothing that’s discouraging in any way,” Marmol said

Molina will receive at-bats in a minor league game on Saturday. He will not catch in that game.

Pushing his debut back one day will allow Molina to catch starter Adam Wainwright against the Astros on Monday. With 20 regular-season starts this year, Molina and Wainwright will pass former Detroit Tigers Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan as the most prolific battery in major league history.

Molina and Wainwright enter the season fourth on that list with 304.

A career .280 hitter with 171 homers and 998 RBIs, Molina is entering his 19th major league season.

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