Yadi back from IL; Sánchez optioned

May 8th, 2021

The Cardinals announced Saturday morning that they had activated Molina off the 10-day injured list in time for the day’s game versus the Rockies, with manager Mike Shildt saying Molina was “clear, ready to go, in the lineup.” In a corresponding move, St. Louis announced catcher Alí Sanchez had been optioned to Triple-A Memphis, though he would remain with the team as a member of the taxi squad.

Molina went 1-for-4 with three RBIs, helping the Cardinals to a 9-8 victory.

Molina had been on the IL since April 27 due to a right foot tendon strain, and he had played just once since exiting an April 23 start early. Molina had previously posted a picture of himself in a walking boot -- though it was reported that he was improving by the day -- but he and the Cardinals feel he has recovered enough for him to go back on the field.

“You can't get in anybody's body, but you can be around enough athletes to know,” Shildt said. “I see people play. Everybody has their own level of pain tolerance, and if there's a guy that has a parallel pain tolerance as Yadier Molina, I'd like to see it.”

Molina will replace Andrew Knizner behind the plate and in the lineup moving forward. Knizner struggled at the plate over the past week with five straight hitless games in May.

Defensively, however, Knizner has filled in admirably, calling three shutouts since Molina’s injury first occurred and two since Molina went on the IL.

“His skills [and] his preparation have met, and he's done a very nice job for us and did a very, very good job for us in Yadi's absence, and has more than earned future opportunities,” Shildt said, “but it's always nice to have Yadi back in the lineup.”

Strauss tabbed Cards’ Honorary Bat Girl

The way Mindy Strauss sees it, her sports fandom could have been non-existent. Going to Cardinals games with her father and brothers growing up, it was either going to be her biggest love in life or her biggest nemesis. With time, though, it quickly became the former.

Part of that love is what drove Strauss to be a member of the inaugural group of volunteers with Cardinals Care. She has dedicated over 20 years of her life to the charity. She’s made a mark helping others, but there was a time Strauss needed a hand herself.

In November 2019, a biopsy revealed that Strauss had a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis -- a rare and aggressive form of the disease. For much of 2020, Strauss had to undergo chemotherapy and all the difficulties -- physical and mental -- it can wring on an individual, especially under the isolating cloud of the pandemic.

In 2021, Strauss was selected as the Cardinals’ Honorary Bat Girl for Mother’s Day.

“I didn’t talk about it or tell anyone at first,” Strauss said of her cancer diagnosis recently, “… but as I met more people through my support groups, I realized how much you can help others just by telling your own story.”

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 as a league-wide initiative to raise awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In 11 years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 300 individuals have been honored at the 30 MLB ballparks.

Strauss was able to “ring the bell” in May 2020, signaling the end of her chemotherapy treatment. She’s already gotten back to her charitable ways, serving as the honorary captain of the Cardinals walk team at the 2021 Komen St. Louis MORE THAN PINK Walk.

In her typical fashion, she asked doctors for extra time before her biopsy in November 2019 … just so she could complete a half-marathon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.