Molina may play first before joining Puerto Rico

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals are considering finding some playing time for Yadier Molina at first base before he leaves next Sunday to join his Puerto Rican teammates for the World Baseball Classic.

Don't read anything more into the move, though, than what it is -- which is to get Molina some repetition at a position that he could be asked to play only in the Classic. Molina is unlikely to catch every inning of every game in the Classic, so his ability to step in at first will likely be something Team Puerto Rico does as a way to keep Molina's bat in the lineup.

If Molina gets some time at first base in the Classic, there is a chance, too, that he and older brother, Jose, could be on the field together. Jose Molina, 37, is one of two other catchers on the roster. Yadier Molina has already been spending the spring with his other brother, Bengie, who is the Cardinals' new assistant hitting coach.

Carlos Beltran will also play for the Puerto Rican club, which is carrying six outfielders on its roster. That could create an opportunity for Beltran to get some time as the team's designated hitter.

In preparation for the Classic, Beltran has opted to stay on his normal spring routine. After playing in both of the Cardinals' weekend games, Beltran won't make his next appearance until Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.