Holliday to replace Molina on All-Star team

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday has been added to the National League All-Star team as a replacement for teammate Yadier Molina, who was placed on the bereavement list due to the death of his wife’s grandfather in Puerto Rico.

Molina, who would have appeared in his fifth straight All-Star Game, returned home Friday and won’t be back with the Cardinals until after the break.

“I’m thankful to be going but at the same time, I hope everything is OK with Yadi,” Holliday said. “It’s always a pleasure and an honor to be a part of it. Obviously I feel for Yadi but I’m privileged to be a part of the game and part of the All-Star team.

“It means a lot to me to be a part of this game and be recognized as an All-Star in the major leagues, it will never get old. I don’t take it for granted.”

Holliday had planned a fishing trip with his family at Table Rock Lake for the break but instead will join teammates Carlos Beltran, Rafael Furcal, David Freese and Lance Lynn for Tuesday’s game in Kansas City.

It will be the sixth All-Star Game for Holliday, who entered Friday’s series opener against the Miami Marlins hitting .318 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI.

“I was pretty good with it both ways,” Holliday said. “We had a pretty good trip planned so I hadn’t been following it real close. I knew obviously there are guys that can’t participate and it might come up but I hadn’t been scrolling through the Internet hoping.”

Holliday said he would prefer not to do the Home Run Derby should a spot open up, “just because it would be nice to have as much down time as I can get in these four days.”

The Cardinals recalled catcher Bryan Anderson from Memphis to replace Molina on the roster. Molina could return when the Cardinals open the second half of the season on July 13 in Cincinnati but manager Mike Matheny said the club has told him to take as much time as necessary.

Matheny had already wrote Molina into his lineup for Friday night before finding out about the situation around 1 p.m.

“We have a consistent message around here that we keep first things first and family is first,” Matheny said. “It’s a tough deal that their family is going through and we’re thinking about them and praying for them. The baseball stuff is secondary.”

Holliday will be playing in his third consecutive All-Star Game as a member of the Cardinals.

“He deserved to be there,” Matheny said. “He’s an All-Star-caliber player having an All-Star-caliber year. It’s nice to see him going.”