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Molina drops appeal of suspension

Catcher was involved in bench-clearing incident Sunday; J. Martinez feeling all right after ankle injury
April 10, 2018

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina dropped his appeal of the one-game suspension Major League Baseball imposed on him Tuesday, according to a source. The league said the suspension stemmed from him making contact with an umpire during a benches-clearing incident over the weekend.Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had already tentatively planned

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina dropped his appeal of the one-game suspension Major League Baseball imposed on him Tuesday, according to a source. The league said the suspension stemmed from him making contact with an umpire during a benches-clearing incident over the weekend.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had already tentatively planned to give Molina his first off-day of the season on Wednesday, when the Cards and Brewers wrap up their three-game set with a 12:15 p.m. CT start. The 35-year-old Molina has started all 11 games at catcher for St. Louis this season.
"Francisco is going to get his opportunity here real soon," Matheny said, referring to backup catcher Francisco Pena.
Club officials were hopeful the league would spare Molina from disciplinary action after home plate umpire Tim Timmons downplayed the catcher's role in Sunday's skirmish with the D-backs. Benches cleared after Molina took unkindly to a vulgar word D-backs manager Torey Lovullo used, in reference to Molina, while arguing balls and strikes with Timmons.
Timmons then attempted to hold Molina and Lovullo apart, while a fracas formed around them. In a statement, MLB called Lovullo and Molina's actions "inappropriate," and specifically cited the contact Molina made with Timmons as reasoning for Molina's suspension. Timmons called the contact "incidental" on Sunday.
"Yadi became agitated, which was understandable," Timmons told a pool reporter. "He didn't push me as much as I tried to get in between them."
Molina was not available for comment.
Lovullo was also docked a game without pay. MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre made the announcement.
"We were hopeful, especially after the umpire's comments, that it wouldn't carry over," Matheny said. "But now it has."

Matheny defended Molina twice after the incident -- both on the field and afterwards in his postgame comments. Matheny rushed to form a bubble around Molina after he and Lovullo were separated. When asked if he thought Molina's reaction was justified, Matheny said, "Nobody likes to be yelled at, period. You react how you react and we support our guys."
Losing Molina, even for a day, will result in a bit of a roster pinch for a Cardinals club already operating with a short bench. Carson Kelly is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster.
Martinez day to day
Jose Martinez woke up surprised at how good his ankle felt after the first baseman suffered an Achilles contusion during Monday's 5-4 loss to the Brewers. Martinez left the game after his right foot collided with the left foot of Lorenzo Cain during a bang-bang play at the bag.

The Cardinals treated Martinez's ankle aggressively after X-rays came back negative for structural damage, sending the first baseman home with treatment and massage tools. Martinez said he felt "like a man on the mission," tending to the bruise throughout the night at his apartment.
Martinez feels the injury most acutely when he runs and when he rotates his back leg while hitting, but said, "I was expecting a lot more pain."
"I felt like my leg was numb yesterday, the cold weather made it worse," Martinez said. "When I started moving it around, it felt better."
Martinez said he could be available to pinch hit, but the Cardinals were unsure if he would be as of game time. Martinez being unavailable would effectively reduce Matheny's bench to two position players, with Pena serving an emergency role. Matheny burned through all his bench players shortly after Martinez left Monday's loss to Milwaukee, and needed to use starting pitcher Luke Weaver as a pinch runner in the ninth.
"Ideally, you'd like to have him [available]," Matheny said. "But everything is pointing in the direction of him returning sooner rather than later. No reason to get worked up and start thinking of a roster move."
Bigger than baseball
Adam Wainwright took batting practice Tuesday wearing the orange-and-purple hat of Marshall County High, the Kentucky school where two students were killed in January after a shooter opened fire.

Wainwright is hosting 30-40 members of the Marshall County community at Busch Stadium this week, including the family of Preston Cope, one of the victims. Cope, 15, was a loyal Cardinals fan and a freshman on the Marshall County baseball team that played an exhibition game at Busch last season. The Cardinals will dedicate Wednesday's game to him, and his brother, Maddox, will throw out the first pitch.
More injury updates
Jedd Gyorko (hamstring) participated in baseball activities for the second straight day Tuesday. Gyorko is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, and could begin a rehab assignment by the end of the week.
• Luke Gregerson (hamstring) made his second rehab assignment for Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Monday, when he struck out two over a scoreless inning. Palm Beach's game Tuesday was postponed, preventing Gregerson from throwing in back-to-back days. That's a hurdle he still needs to clear before returning to the Major League roster.
Brett Cecil (shoulder) won't return for "at least a few weeks," according to general manager Michael Girsch. Cecil, who was wearing a walking boot earlier in the week, is also suffering from tendinitis in his right foot. He removed the boot Tuesday.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.