ST. LOUIS -- Though hopeful that he'll play again before the regular season ends on Sunday, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will remain in Major League Baseball's concussion protocol for at least another day.
Molina has not been diagnosed with a concussion, but he is being monitored after showing concussion-like symptoms following consecutive foul tips off his mask in Monday's 10-2 loss to the Cubs. Protocol requires that a player be evaluated 48 hours after sustaining the head trauma before a diagnosis is determined.
"Obviously, when you get hit in the head, you have to be careful with that," Molina said on Tuesday. "That's where we are right now. We're going to give the head a little time to rest."
Molina noted that his headaches and nausea had subsided since Monday, though he has not been cleared to drive. It was the first time Molina said he could remember being hit by foul balls on consecutive pitches.
"Being a catcher, you get hit a bunch of times," Molina said. "[Through the] many years I've been in the league, I've been hit in the head many times. But never twice in a row like last night. Last night was pretty bad. … I was in pain. I was confused. Both hurt."
Manager Mike Matheny, whose playing career came to an end due to the effects of multiple concussions, did not want to speculate on a potential return date for Molina.
"It's going to be part of the testing and part of how his symptoms are coming along and let that be the determining factor more so than my history or my ideas," Matheny said. "Trust the doctors and trust what they're coming up with more than anything else.
"These tests, you're not going to fool them. If there's a lingering effect, it's going to be sniffed out regardless of how badly he wants to play."
Until Molina returns, Carson Kelly, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Cardinals' No. 2 prospect, will fill in behind the plate.
Martinez on the mend
With his left thumb out of a cast, Jose Martinez tested the strength of his hand first by hitting off a tee and then during on-field batting practice.
"I think the most important thing is I'm not losing the barrel in this hand," Martinez said of his renewed grip strength. "I'm pretty happy, because yesterday I wasn't feeling good. I was pretty stiff. I feel like 80 percent better [today]."
Martinez entered Tuesday's 8-7 win over the Cubs as a pinch-hitter during the fifth inning and was intentionally walked. He was replaced in the field the following inning.
When Martinez returns to the field, the Cardinals are expected to add padding to his glove to protect his hand from impact.
Wong sidelined again
The back tightness that has nagged at second baseman Kolten Wong on and off all month forced him out of the lineup again on Tuesday. Wong felt his back tighten up on him in his seventh-inning at-bat on Monday. Aledmys Diaz replaced him in the field in the bottom half of the frame.
Wong had started eight consecutive games, going 4-for-27 during that stretch.
• The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that Busch Stadium will host an Ed Sheeran concert on Sept. 6, 2018, as part of Sheeran's 2018 North American stadium tour. Tickets will be available to the general public at cardinals.com/edsheeran at 10 a.m. CT on Oct. 20.