(Busch Stadium) As the St. Louis Cardinals prepare to return from the All-Star break, they will do so without catcher Yadier Molina, who has been placed on the 10-day Injured List with continued issues from a right thumb tendon sprain.
“I think what’s most important is he understands he needs more time,” Team President John Mozeliak shared. “Had it evaluated on Monday, doctor agrees that it would be in his best interest to give it some time, so ultimately that’s what we’ll do.”
The placement of Molina on the IL is retroactive to July 8th. This is the second time the catcher has been sidelined with the thumb injury, having missed 11 games the beginning of June.
“Nothing has gone backwards, but ideally–it’s time and just being patient,” said Mozeliak, adding that no surgical procedure is expected.
There is not an exact timetable for Molina’s return, however, it’s likely he will not be back before the end of July.
“You’re looking at beyond the ten days,” Manager Mike Shildt shared. “Similar to what he dealt with. It hasn’t decreased or worsened or done anything that’s created anything that’s more problematic. It just hasn’t healed as well, so he’s kind of back to where he was a little bit. He just needs time. What that time looks like? You’re probably looking within a three week range.”
Rookie catcher Andrew Knizner has been recalled by the Cardinals to back up Matt Wieters behind the plate.
“I think you’ll see similar to what you saw last time,” Shildt said. “I think you’ll see Weiters carry a good portion of it and then Kiz get his opportunities as well. For example this weekend you could see, I’m not saying you will, but you could see a Wiety’s Friday-Sunday and Kiz-Sunday type thing.”
Meanwhile, third baseman Matt Carpenter (lower back strain) has been activated from the IL and the Cardinals have also purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Chasen Shreve from Memphis. Closer Jordan Hicks was transferred from the 10-day to 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster for Shreve while reliever Tyler Webb and first baseman Rangel Ravelo have been optioned to Memphis.
MORE INJURY UPDATES
–Outfielder Marcell Ozuna is not expected to be activated from the IL this weekend.
“Better, people are encouraged by his work, encouraged by his strength,” Shildt said. “He’s still got some inflammation that needs to be cleared up a little bit. He’s improving where his baseline of his grip strength was prior to the injury. The good news is we have that baseline and he’s working towards it. He’s optimistic how he’s healing. The staff’s optimistic how he’s healing. The speed of which that will take place to get his grip strength back will be a matter of time.”
Infielder Jedd Gyorko is on track for an early August return.
Pitcher Mike Mayers is continuing to move towards a return sooner than later, the results were different for Alex Reyes, who threw on the side earlier this week.
“It didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped,” Mozeliak said. “I’m not at the point where I think it’s a red flag, but I don’t think it put him on pace necessarily to be here in a week or two. He still needs to get back pitching down there and obviously still needs to get back pitching there with success.”
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