Molina out of lineup with bruised right hand

Cardinals manager believes injury is not 'overly serious'

May 29th, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- was not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Phillies due to a bruised right hand, though manager Mike Shildt said the club does not consider the injury "overly serious."

Molina originally sustained the injury in Sunday's game against the Braves, though X-rays taken during the game came back negative. He remained in that contest until being lifted for a pinch-runner in the 10th inning. Molina then started Tuesday's game against the Phillies, but he was replaced by pinch-hitter Jose Martinez with one out and nobody on in a one-run game in the top of the ninth.

Shildt said the injury is more to the spot between Molina's thumb and index finger than to the thumb itself, thus hindering his ability to grip the bat properly.

"It compromises his ability to feel like he can drive the ball," Shildt said. "It’s his top hand -- both hands are clearly important -- but it makes it hard to get through the ball without experiencing some pain in that area."

Along with the in-game X-ray on Sunday, Molina has had his hand checked out multiple times since, and the Cards are confident that there's no structural damage. That said, there's not a specific target for Molina's return at this point.

"He’s more day to day right now," Shildt said. "We don’t feel like it’s anything that’s overly serious. We feel like we’ve got a grasp on it. There’s nothing that we’ve found that’s anything structural."

started behind the plate on Wednesday, while the Cardinals continue to monitor Molina's progress.

"He’s been looked at, and he’ll continue to get looked at and he’s been getting treatment," Shildt said. "It’s a tolerance thing. It's preventing him from being able to consistently take good at-bats."

Reyes making progress

had another solid outing in his second appearance with Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Tuesday, allowing three runs (only one earned) over 4 1/3 innings, while striking out five and walking one.

Reyes, who fractured his left pinkie finger on April 25, has allowed just two earned runs over 9 1/3 innings (1.93 ERA) in his two starts with Palm Beach, while throwing at least 70 pitches in each.

Shildt said that Reyes' next start could come at Triple-A Memphis, though that plan is not "set in stone" yet. With Palm Beach employing a designated hitter, unlike Memphis, the Cardinals want to make sure he's cleared to grip and swing a bat before bumping him up to Triple-A.

"It sounds like the reports were positive," Shildt said. "It’s another step back in the right direction."

News and notes

• The Cardinals optioned outfielder Lane Thomas to Triple-A Memphis prior to Wednesday's game to clear a roster spot for starter Genesis Cabrera.