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Cardinals Baseball

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina works with Triple-A Memphis catcher Andrew Knizner at spring training in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with a right thumb tendon strain. The move is retroactive to May 29.

The Cardinals purchased the contract of catcher Andrew Knizner from Class AAA Memphis and added him to the active roster for tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Molina would be eligible to play next Saturday in Chicago.

"It hasn't been able to heal as we would like," manager Mike Shildt said. "He was trying to do that he can the last several days but it's something after the imaging today that didn't look like it was going to heal without some time and some more care."

Molina had an MRI on Friday morning that revealed damage. Molina was expected to see a specialist Friday afternoon and get another opinion.

President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he had received no indication that the injury could require surgery. He expected to have a better idea of Molina's recovery time by Saturday morning.

Molina was injured last weekend and tried to play afterward, but had missed the last two games with Matt Wieters taking his place. It's the sixth trip to the injured list in 16 seasons for the 36-year-old Molina. 

Molina is hitting .265 with four home runs and 33 RBIs and had started 49 of 53 games. In limited action, Wieters is hitting .387 with three home runs and nine RBIs.

"That's our captain, our man we go to for everything," second baseman Kolten Wong said. "Obviously Wieters is doing an amazing job and we couldn't be happier having him there. But to lose your captain, especially in a big series like this, is a big blow to us."

Knizner (pronounced KIZZ-ner), one of the top prospects in the Cardinals' farm system, was the starting catcher at Memphis and was batting .286 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 37 games. Drafted in 2016, Knizner has a career average of .307 for 279 minor-league games.

Knizner, 24, will wear uniform No. 7 with the Cardinals.

Wieters has hit well enough that he was placed in the No. 5 spot for tonight's game. Paul Goldschmidt will remain third with Paul DeJong hitting second.

Carpenter returns to lead-off

Matt Carpenter returns to the leadoff spot tonight after being replaced by Dexter Fowler for five games and Kolten Wong for one. The top spot in the order has not produced a hit since Carpenter was moved.

Fowler went 0-for-19 before Wong went hitless in four at-bats. Carpenter, meanwhile, went 7-for-20.

“(Carpenter) took off like we felt he was close to,” Shildt said, “and he’s back to a spot that’s worked for him.”

Cabrera to start again

Genesis Cabrera will stay in the rotation for the time being and make his next start Tuesday against the Reds. That could potentially set him up to start a game at Wrigley Field next weekend.

“His stuff was way different than what all of us experienced in spring training, so that was exciting to see,” Mozeliak said of Cabrera’s first start. “He clearly has an electric arm and has a chance to be an exciting pitching in the big leagues.”

Meanwhile, Mozeliak said that Alex Reyes will most likely make his next start in Memphis. Reyes has not been cleared to swing a bat as he recovers from a broken pinky on his non-throwing hand, the result of punching a wall.

“Until that point, which we’ll slowly work into, he may have to stand up there and be a soft out,” Mozeliak said.

CARDINALS LINEUP

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Paul DeJong, SS

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Marcell Ozuna, LF

5. Matt Wieters, C

6. Dexter Fowler, RF

7. Kolten Wong, 2B

8. Harrison Bader, CF

9. Miles Mikolas, P

CUBS LINEUP

1. Kyle Schwarber, LF

2. Kris Bryant, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Javier Baez, SS

5. Jason Heyward, LF

6. Addison Russell, 2B

7. Victor Caratini, C

8. Albert Almora Jr., CF

9. Yu Darvish, P

Stu Durando is the SLU beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.