Cards implementing plan to keep Molina fresh down the stretch

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took a seat twice during their six-day road trip. Get used to seeing him taking a break more often as the season moves deeper into hot August and closer to the postseason.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the plan is to rest Molina in day games following night games, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"There are push times and there are times when we keep in contact with him about how he feels," Matheny said. We're going to give him the time."

Molina has been on pace to set a career-high innings. He set out to lose weight during the offseason and it appears to be paying dividends now. Before taking Sunday's game off, Molina had started 94 of the team's 103 games. Backup catcher Tony Cruz caught his third game in the last seven, and he's going to see more action this month by plan.

Molina is batting .282 with 19 doubles and 38 RBI. What's most important for the club is to have their leader healthy and fresh when October rolls around.

So a little extra rest is just part of the grand plan.

(h/t St. Louis Post-Dispatch)