St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been placed on the 15-Day DL and will miss 8-12 weeks following tomorrow’s surgery for a torn ligament in his right thumb. Molina injured his thumb while sliding into third base during the second inning of last night’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Audry Perez has been recalled from the Memphis Redbirds (AAA).
Molina’s thumb injury only adds to the list of injury woes for the Cardinals. So far, Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia, and Joe Kelly have missed a great amount of time in the pitching rotation. However, unlike the pitchers, the catching for the Cardinals farm system is not quite at the point of depth as the pitching. I don’t mean that in a bad way but when it comes to catching prospects in the system, Carson Kelly is a few seasons away from making his major league debut–and he only switched to catching during the instructional league.
Voted by the fans to start behind the plate for the National League during next Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Molina will not be active and will have to be replaced. Molina was hitting .287 with 7 home runs and 30 runs batted in. The Gold Gove catcher currently leads the Major Leagues by throwing out 47% of attempted base stealers. He is tied for second with three pick-offs.
This is the fourth time in Molina’s 11-season career that he has been placed on the DL. Last year, the Cardinals posted a 6-8 record when Molina missed 14 games with a sprained right knee.
Perez is hitting .288 with 2 HR and 21 RBI in 44 games played with Memphis. His owns a .993 fielding percentage this season and has town out 29% of base stealers (10 caught stealing/35 attempts). Perez played in two games last season and saw one at-bat.
ESPN Senior Baseball Analyst & Insider Jim Bowden believes that Kurt Suzuki makes the best sense for the Cardinals. Other possible trade targets according to Bowden are Carlos Ruiz, Hector Sanchez, John Buck, A.J. Pierzynski, Ryan Hanigan, and Jose Molina.
Regardless, Cruz or Perez won’t be able to make up for the loss of Molina’s bat in the lineup. What this means, though, is that the Cardinals will have to play Oscar Taveras every day, be it in center field or right field.