Yadier Molina: The Lone Boricua in the Majors
This upcoming 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Yadier Molina will be the lone boricua shining with the best of the best .
There is no doubt, the younger of the Molina brothers deserved the accolade from the fans to be the starting catcher in the National League lineup. Not because the fans wanted to award him with his first All-Star experience playing at home. The 2009 All-Star Game will be played at Busch Stadium in his Cardinal nest in St. Louis on July 14. Neither a gift because he will be celebrating his 27th birthday the night before the big mid-summer classic game.
Yadier is validating he is the best defensive catcher in the National League. At midway point of this season he has thrown out 44 percent of would-be basestealers and picked off four baserunners as well. He’s second in the league in innings caught. Numbers that are in pace to help him win his second career Gold Glove Award.
Do not misremember either his batting. The Bayamon native is hitting for a .284 average with 5 homers and 28 RBI’s.
Of course, we can not forget that Carlos Beltran was also selected to be a starter outfielder in the National League. However, the Manati native at present is receiving a second treatment in his ailing right knee and would be re-evaluated during the All-Star break.
At this moment, the New York Mets have informed if doctors cleared him, he could resume baseball-related activates, like hitting and running after the All-Star Game break. For now, he is exercising on a bike and in a pool. Beltran publicly have acknowledged he does not have a timetable how long it would take to return to the Mets.
For the rest, after 85 games, I keep asking que pasa boricua ? Besides Molina and Beltran whom this season deserve to be an All-Star. Possibly in the National League older Yadier’s brother Bengie and in the American League Mike Lowell before getting re-injured again with hip problems. That’s it !
No longer are the hey-days of full of boricuas All-Star Games. See the accompanied chart below this decade. Make your own conclusions. I know we can do better again. Hopefully soon.
Puerto Ricans in All-Star Games (2001-2009)
2001 (Seattle): Roberto Alomar, Juan González, Edgar Martínez, Jorge Posada, Iván Rodríguez, Bernie Williams
2002 (Milwaukee): José Hernández, Mike Lowell, Jorge Posada, Benito Santiago, José Vidró
2003 (Chicago): Carlos Delgado, Javier López, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martínez, Jorge Posada, Jose Vidró
2004 (Houston): Carlos Beltrán, Mike Lowell, Iván Rodríguez, Javier Vázquez
2005 (Detroit): Carlos Beltrán, Felipe López, Iván Rodríguez
2006 (Pittsburgh): Carlos Beltrán, Alexis Rios, Iván Rodríguez
2007 (San Francisco): Carlos Beltrán, Mike Lowell, Jorge Posada, Alexis Rios, Iván Rodríguez
2008 (New York): Geovany Soto
2009 (St. Louis): Yadier Molina
This column was published by The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Notebook