If everything goes as planned, the St. Louis Cardinals should have a battery of Carlos Martinez and Yadier Molina this Tuesday night. That’s at least what both players are hoping for.
“That’s the plan,” confirmed Molina before today’s game. “To be back here on Tuesday but you have to go step by step, one game at a time, and see how it goes.”
“I hope to, I want to,” echoed Martinez, who has been on the DL since May 9th with a lat strain. “I’m just waiting for the decision from the manager. My arm feels good, I feel comfortable with all my pitches. I’m ready to go.”
Martinez just returned from Springfield (AA) after throwing 63 pitches (44 strikes) in 4.0 innings of work on Thursday night. He allowed two solo home runs, three other hits, and struck out four batters.
Molina will head out to Springfield on a two-day rehab assignment beginning tomorrow. He expects to catch 4-5 innings in each game.
Injured when Kris Bryant fouled-tipped a 102mph fastball from Jordan Hicks into his groin area, Molina shared the protective cup he was wearing did suffer a little break.
“That was the worst pain of my life,” he said. “I got hit a bunch of times, believe me. But this one it was worse, the worst pain.”
Moving forward, Molina has been outfitted with two new, larger cups–one of them bulletproof, for his protection.
“There was a lot of pain the first couple of weeks,” he explained. “I couldn’t do anything, barely walk. But after the second week, I started feeling better. Right now, I don’t feel anything so back to normal.”
While he began running after the second week of recovery and has been doing some baseball activity for a few days, Molina shared today was only the second day of swinging a bat. His timing at the plate will have to be regained in game action.
“I’m close,” said Molina. “Obviously, my arm feels like it’s Spring Training. I have to take care of that first. Like I said, I’ll have to find out how my body reacts tomorrow in the game. We’ll go from there.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports