ST. LOUIS -- With a playoff berth no longer attainable, the Cardinals have decided to shut down several players who have been dealing with lingering injuries or ailments. Those include infielder Matt Carpenter, catcher Yadier Molina and pitchers Adam Wainwright and Tyler Lyons.Molina has been in concussion protocol since taking
ST. LOUIS -- With a playoff berth no longer attainable, the Cardinals have decided to shut down several players who have been dealing with lingering injuries or ailments. Those include infielder Matt Carpenter, catcher Yadier Molina and pitchers Adam Wainwright and Tyler Lyons.
Molina has been in concussion protocol since taking consecutive foul balls off his mask Monday. Even if he were to get clearance to return this weekend, the Cardinals will hold him out. The reward is not worth the risk of Molina sustaining any additional head trauma.
"He'll be fine," general manager Michael Girsch said. "But there's no reason to rush through it for the final three games."
For the second time this month, Carpenter underwent an MRI on his inflamed right shoulder Friday to ensure that he did not suffer any additional damage while playing through pain over the last few weeks. Carpenter planned to meet with a team doctor later in the day to get a read of that scan, but initial expectations are that he can recover with an offseason of rest and not require surgery.
The next steps for Wainwright aren't so clear, as he is still consulting with the medical staff about how to continue his recovery from a right elbow impingement. Surgery has not been ruled out.
As for Lyons, he did not miss any time this season due to injury, but had started to recently show signs of weakness in his surgically repaired left knee. The Cardinals don't want to risk any additional stress over this final weekend.
Additionally, the Cards will monitor Kolten Wong (lower back tightness) and Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring) on a day-to-day basis to determine if they will appear over the weekend.
Homers for hurricane relief
With Carpenter's season officially over, so, too, are his efforts to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in his hometown of Houston.
Back on Aug. 28, Carpenter announced that he would make a $10,000 donation for every home run he hit for the rest of the season. Wainwright and the Cardinals quickly matched that pledge.
Though he played with a shoulder injury, Carpenter went on to hit six homers over the final 24 games to bring the donation total to $180,000. Carpenter said he has already given his portion to the American Red Cross.
An unfamiliar feeling
Friday marked the first time since 2010 that the Cards took the field for a regular-season game knowing that they had no postseason aspirations.
"It did feel like something different," manager Mike Matheny said of facing that reality as he drove to the ballpark Friday. "I'm not dealing very well with it. I love playing meaningful games beyond the fact of pride, beyond the fact of what this symbolizes wearing the Birds on the Bat."
But while their goal of playing into October is no longer possible, Matheny noted that he does feel a responsibility to field as competitive a team as he can over these final three days because of what's at stake for the Brewers, who remain in the NL Wild Card race.
"Our guys are going to go out and play hard," Matheny said. "We have to regroup. Finish strong. Play the game right. And do everything we can to still put a great product out and win."
• For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in February, Alex Reyes took the mound on Friday to throw a bullpen session. His recovery from the procedure continues to go as scheduled, and the Cardinals are hopeful that Reyes will be ready to start the 2018 season healthy.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.