Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Cardinals News

Molina gets more time to let thumb heal

@anne__rogers
July 7, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cardinals are hoping a few more days of rest will put Yadier Molina's thumb soreness behind him for good. The Cardinals catcher sat out of the starting lineup for the third straight game in Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Giants and will likely sit out in

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cardinals are hoping a few more days of rest will put Yadier Molina's thumb soreness behind him for good.

The Cardinals catcher sat out of the starting lineup for the third straight game in Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Giants and will likely sit out in Sunday's game, too. His right thumb, which he injured in May after getting hit by a foul ball, is still bothering him when he grips and swings a bat, and it affects his ability to drive the baseball. Molina has just three extra-base hits in 21 games since returning from the injured list on June 11, though he did single as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning Saturday when St. Louis had no other bench players available.

With four days of rest and four days during the All-Star break, Molina said he should be ready to go when the Cardinals return from the break against the D-backs at Busch Stadium.

"It's going to help," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "We're pretty intentional about getting it behind him. It's a tolerance issue right now, but we just want to be smart about it. It just makes sense with the schedule to continue to give him some rest."

Molina could still play if the Cardinals needed him to, but they've got a veteran catcher as their backup in Matt Wieters, who only continues to earn more playing time anyway.

In his last three games, Wieters hit .333 with four RBIs and two home runs, including the game-winning homer in the Cardinals' 11-inning win over the Padres on Sunday. After going 0-for-19 against left-handed pitchers, those two home runs came off lefties.

"Earlier in the year, I went out to make a pitching change, and an umpire said, 'Must be nice to have the best backup catcher in maybe the history of the game,'" Shildt said. "I said, 'Yeah, it's pretty nice.' He's a pro's pro. Smart, tough and talented. He has a lot of skills to help us win games."

Post All-Star break rotation set

The Cardinals will start Adam Wainwright in the first game out of the All-Star break, when the Cardinals play the D-Backs at Busch Stadium on Friday. The veteran right-hander will be pitching on nine days' rest after last starting Wednesday in Seattle.

Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas will round out the probables for that series, and Shildt said it will likely be Jack Flaherty and Michael Wacha for the first two games of the Cardinals' next series against the Pirates.

"There's a lot of different ways you could approach it," Shildt said. "Waino's day, we like him being the first guy out. He's going to have plenty of a break. Just made a lot of sense to roll it out that way."

Worth noting

Matt Carpenter (lower back strain) began baseball activities, including hitting, on Saturday in St. Louis. Shildt said he received a positive update from Carpenter and hopes to have the third baseman back in the lineup to start the series against the D-backs.

Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.