Molina resting with 'mild' hamstring injury

Gyorko to be activated from 10-day DL Saturday

September 7th, 2018

DETROIT -- St. Louis manager Mike Shildt continued to characterize 's left hamstring injury as "mild" on Friday, but the 36-year-old catcher is unlikely to play during the Cardinals' three-game weekend series against the Tigers.

"Nothing has really changed," Shildt said. "He got his treatment and said he felt better today than he felt yesterday, so that's an encouraging sign. But still, it's something that's [going to] keep him out of the lineup for some period of time. We're not sure what that looks like."

Molina hurt his hamstring in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game against the Nationals trying to steal second base. This comes as the Cardinals are trying to come from behind in the final month of the season to grab a playoff spot, and they'll have to go about it, at least temporarily, without their veteran and nine-time All-Star in the lineup.

Shildt indicated that it would be optimistic to expect Molina back on Monday when the Cardinals open a three-game series against the Pirates, but there isn't a clear timetable beyond that.

"It's a hamstring," Shildt said. "People react different, people heal different, but hamstrings are hard to gauge. You don't want to rush them."

Molina hit a slump in August with a .243 batting average over the month, but a .273 season average and 17 home runs make his bat one of the most productive in the Cardinals' lineup.

Gyorko closer to return

will be activated off the 10-day disabled list Saturday, Shildt said, but it's unlikely the third baseman will be inserted immediately back into the Cardinals' starting lineup. Shildt said he's looking for Gyorko's return to come "early next week," or perhaps even as early as Sunday.

"He's still checking boxes," Shildt said. "Jedd's in a good place."

Gyorko was placed on the DL on Aug. 29 with a left groin strain. He had a terrific August before getting hurt, batting .325 for the month and getting a hit in eight of his last 10 games.

Shildt said Gyorko would take batting practice Friday and be evaluated after that.

"He's at that stage where he's getting back to activities that will allow him to get back in the lineup," Shildt said.

Wacha hits setback in Triple-A

was scratched from his rehab start with Triple-A Memphis on Friday night with "oblique discomfort," the Cardinals announced. It's the same left oblique that sent Wacha to the 10-day disabled list on June 21. Memphis is playing in the Triple-A playoffs.

The scratch represents the most recent setback for Wacha, as he continues his journey to return to the Cardinals. In his last start for Double-A Springfield on Aug. 28, Wacha lasted 2 1/3 innings while allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits.

Wacha was working on a career year before getting injured. His 3.20 ERA would tie his lowest mark as a full-time starting pitcher, set in 2014.

The Cardinals are making a push for a playoff spot, but a staff of young arms that needs to be carefully managed was eager to welcome back Wacha, who, if healthy, could at least join the bullpen if his arm doesn't build up enough endurance to return to the starting rotation.