Molina receives Gold, Platinum Gloves on Sunday

Molina receives Gold, Platinum Gloves on Sunday

ST. LOUIS -- As he stood in front of his locker early Saturday evening, ruminating over one of the best starts of his career, Adam Wainwright didn't need to be asked about the assistance he received behind the plate from Yadier Molina. Unsolicited, Wainwright brought up the topic.

"Yadier Molina -- what can you say?" Wainwright said. "He's the best."

On Sunday, Molina was recognized for being just that. Just before he started his 12th straight game to open the season, Molina was presented with his fifth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove and his second straight Platinum Glove. The latter is awarded to the player voted as the best defensively, at any position, in the league.

Sitting on the flatbed of a truck, the two awards were driven around the Busch Stadium field before being presented to the Cardinals' catcher.

"I get to be the beneficiary of him doing so many different things that there really aren't statistics for -- the ability to be an extra coach out there, an extra set of eyes, watching how he changes game plans when necessary," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, himself a four-time Gold Glove catcher. "How he monitors this staff is just off the charts. He throws better than anybody in the league. He blocks the ball and moves around behind the plate. All of it. It's a complete package. And when you start throwing in offense, it's pretty rare."

Molina ranks first among active National League catchers with 613 assists and a caught-stealing percentage of 44.6. He has started at least 130 games in each of the last four seasons, and has a career catcher's ERA of 3.78.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.