St Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina has Second Thumb Surgery


St Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina undergoes a second thumb surgery as his October ligament repair failed.

Surgeons operated on the left thumb ligaments of St Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina just after the 2015 season ended and that operation failed. John Mozeliak reported that the first surgery would take two months to heal enough to resume any baseball activities, but the latest reports indicate a longer need for time off for the second repair. Early feedback from this second surgery estimates that Yadi’s spring training will be cut very short.

The injury occurred in a game in the eighth inning at Chicago on September 20th. Jason Heyward ironically made a spectacular throw to home plate where Yadi tagged out Anthony Rizzo while sliding into his glove. The Cardinals won the game 4-3.

In 2014 Molina sustained a thumb injury to his right (throwing) hand while awkwardly sliding into third base. The most worrisome aspect of that injury repair seems to be the effect on batting. After three years of stellar .300+ BA that climbed each year between 2011-2013, he delivered a .282 batting average in 2014 that slid to .270 last year.

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Perhaps it has more to do with age and the wear and tear of being a catcher, but thumb ligaments effect grip and therefore hitting too. Regardless, this is not good news for the Cardinals.

The St Louis Cardinals acquisition of Brayan Peña already turns out to be a wise move for the 2016 season as last year’s .276 batting average will be needed. While Yadi is expected to be back at the start of the season, the need to rush will be lessened with Peña in the lineup. Last season Tony Cruz filled in as backup.

Next: What can we expect from the Peña signing?

This injury bug seems to creep up earlier and earlier in the past few years. Lance Lynn lost for the 2016 season, now Molina suffers a significant setback. The St Louis Cardinals better get a good dose of health and health maintenance during the off season because we’re already thin in starting pitching and the outfield. Add catcher to that list.