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Cardinals news and notes: Molina, Eckstein, and Hefner

The stuff and the things and the...oh, hey, Spring Training isn’t that far away

Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Today is the birthday of Viva El Birdos writer/editor Heather Simon, who, as listeners to Episode 68 of the Viva El Birdos podcast may remember, turns 24. For those who have not had the privilege of meeting Heather, she is every bit as optimistic and bubbly as her online persona, and I truly hope that her birthday is wonderful (you should wish her a happy birthday, even if you don’t know her; she will naturally appreciate it).

With that said, she is now old enough to be made to feel old. Granted, she’s not old enough to feel older than I am, or older than most of you are, but I’ve been feeling existential crises about my age ever since there was a Heisman Trophy winner younger than I am (which happened with Mark Ingram, when I was 20, which is frankly unfair; bring back Chris Weinke, the 28 year-old Heisman winner who frankly looked half a generation older than that).

So here are the ten best players by career Wins Above Replacement (courtesy of the indispensable Baseball Reference Play Index) who are younger than the birthday girl.

10. Roberto Osuna, 3.7 WAR (born February 7, 1995)

T9. Trea Turner, 3.8 WAR (born June 30, 1993)

T9. Joe Ross, 3.8 WAR (born May 21, 1993)

7. Lance McCullers, 4 WAR (born October 2, 1993)

6. Rougned Odor, 4.5 WAR (born February 3, 1994)

5. Michael Fulmer, 4.9 WAR (born March 15, 1993)

4. Addison Russell, 7.6 WAR (born January 23, 1994)

3. Corey Seager, 7.9 WAR (born April 27, 1994)

2. Carlos Correa, 10.1 WAR (born September 22, 1994)

Prolonged drumroll for #1... Francisco Lindor, 10.3 WAR (born November 14, 1993)

Well, at least she gets to be younger than Trout. Anyway, here’s the news and notes from yesterday that’s actually germane to the Cardinals.

Yadier Molina

I wrote about Yadier Molina’s Hall of Fame chances and how his odds may improve thanks to new advances in statistics to measure catcher defense. Speaking as a Molina non-fanboy, I am nevertheless always interested in changes in how we perceive baseball, and this may be a case of that.

David Eckstein

The little scooter herself wrote a tribute to David Eckstein, whose birthday was yesterday, explaining her affection for the Cardinals World Series MVP/former Hall of Fame finalist.

Jeremy Hefner

Cardinals minor leaguer Jeremy Hefner announced his retirement, and Josey Curtis wrote about his decision. We spend a lot of time discussing and contemplating big leaguers, and while Hefner did pitch in the Major Leagues for the New York Mets in 2012 and 2013, he is still an example of a player who worked really hard to get to the majors and then worked really hard after his time with the Mets to get back, and injuries prevented him from doing so. It was surely a difficult decision and I wish him the best.

Okay, that’s it. Have a good weekend, all.