The worst fears were realized for the St. Louis Cardinals when it was revealed All-Star catcher Yadier Molina has a torn ligament in his thumb and will be out for the next 8-12 weeks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
Molina, 31, injured the thumb after sliding into third base during Wednesday’s game and this injury will mark the second time he has appeared on the disabled list during his illustrious career. He was on the disabled list in 2007 for a knee injury, but this is easily the most severe injury in his career that could dramatically impact the playoff picture in the National League.
“It’s unfortunate,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said. “Obviously, when you lose a player of his skill set and leadership, it’s tough. But the game doesn’t stop and we’ll keep going.”
Molina is widely-regarded as the top catcher in baseball and it’s not just for his work at the plate where he owns a 287/.341/.409 slash line with 30 runs, seven home runs, 16 doubles and 30 runs batted in, but his work behind the dish where he is the game’s best defensive catcher with a rocket for an arm and calls the best game in the majors.
The Cardinals take a 50-42 record into play today and sit two games back of the lead in the National League Central and are tied for the second wild card spot, but that will be challenged without the top catcher in the game who will have his absence felt in the lineup, on the mound and in the locker room.
Tony Cruz and Audry Perez will handle the catching duties until Molina is healthy or if the Cardinals make a trade to address the position.