Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Jose Molina is as good a backup catcher as they come. Over the last few years, the Yankees have had trouble finding a servicable replacement for John Flaherty. From Kelly Stinnet, to Sal Fasano, to Wil Nieves the Yankees simply could not feel confident in giving Posada a day off. In came Molina. Molina was traded to the Yankees from the Angels in 2007, and went on to hit .318 in New York. He was rewarded with a 2-year $4 million contract. What you want most out of your back up catcher is good defense, and to not be an automatic out. Last season wasn't the best year at the plate, but behind it, Molina proved valuable. Although he hit just .216, he did hit 17 doubles in just 268 at bats. He also happened to hit the last homerun ever in the history of Yankee stadium. One of three that he hit all season.
My Fearless Prediction:
Its easy to say that Molina will hit in the low .200's because that's mostly where he sits, but we forget that this is a walk year for him as well. I expect quality defense with an average near .250 and some occasional pop. His walk year will merit a new contract.
Little Known Molina Fact:
We all know that Molina is from the Molina clan that produces catchers that win championships. Bengie and Jose both won a championship with the Angels, and Yadier won one with the Cardinals. What you may not know is that their 4th brother, the Japanese catcher Ichiro Molina, also won a championship with the Yomiuri Giants.