PITTSBURGH • After completing a pregame workout Tuesday with the Cardinals’ Class AA affiliate in Springfield, Mo., catcher Yadier Molina will begin his rehab assignment today and could catch as many as five or six innings for the minor league team. Molina told reporters in Springfield that was his plan.
General manager John Mozeliak made the trip down to Springfield to observe the Gold Glove catcher’s significant stride back from thumb surgery in early July to repair a torn ligament in his throwing hand.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Tuesday he “imagines (Molina) would rather have a couple days of catching” than just serving as a designated hitter.
The Cardinals, while stressing caution with their catcher, have not ruled out the possibility that Molina will return to the majors as early as this weekend.
The catcher will wear support on his hand when playing, Matheny said.
“I’m in really good shape,” Molina told The Springfield News-Leader. “I’m happy with the way everything is going. I can’t wait for (Wednesday).”
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright starts for the second time on the road today and looks to halt a sluggish second half, one that has featured a rise in ERA and inconsistency that started just after Molina’s injury.
Asked about the possible correlation, Matheny was blunt: “If I agreed to that (Wainwright) would be so insulted, and he should be. He’s a pro. As much credit as we want to give Yadi, our guys know how to compete. They’re not going to have their success rest on whether or not something outside is going to influence it.
"He knows what he needs to do, and some days it just comes easy.”