The St. Louis Cardinals have set expectations very low for their All-Star catcher’s progress in recovering from thumb surgery. However, things are looking good.
Earlier today, Mark Saxon reported that Yadier Molina caught a full bullpen session from Adam Wainwright. Marking the first bit of real action from the St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher in his attempt to recover from the two thumb surgeries that he had on his catching hand. This is a pretty good sign for the Cardinals, even though I still believe he may start season on DL as a precaution.
Saxon stated that it was no surprise that it was Wainwright that Yadier Molina was catching. This was largely due to the chemistry between the two players who will have been teammates for a total of eleven seasons at the end of this season.
Saxon quoted Matheny as saying, “You want a guy who throws it where he wants to,” this is obvious and with this being said, I will expect Matheny to continue to work with experience with Molina.
Saxon states that there is not a timetable right now for Molina to pick up a bat and start trying to hit, which makes sense. Catching a bullpen is one thing, but I would expect the team to continue to work slowly and cautiously with Molina and probably wait another week to see how the thumb is before he picks up a bat.
Mathney according to Saxon has been watching Molina’s workouts and has been impressed at how aggressive he has been working to get back. This is what led to the team testing him out today.
Again, I think it is in the team’s best interest to continue the patience with Molina and to think long and hard about letting Molina rest on the DL for a week or two to start the season, and maybe letting him get some work in at extended Spring Training, to help him get his timing right offensively and to heal up as well.
It will be interesting to see how Brayan Pena does during the games, as his performance may have a factor on Molina’s recovery. If he is doing well, I could see the club being more willing to wait on Molina. If he doesn’t do well, I think that he may make the team think about acquiring another catcher as an emergency option.
We will keep you updated on Molina as Spring Training moves forward. I think that this will be the most interesting story to follow over the next month.