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Cardinals notebook: Molina catching up, but not ready for Dodgers series||AllBestNews||

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Monday, August 5, 2019

/ by All Best News
Yadier Molina

Cardinals notebook: Molina catching up, but not ready for Dodgers series

OAKLAND, Calif. — As he readies for a return from the injury list as early as Friday at home against Pittsburgh, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (torn thumb tendon) has focused his first few games with Class AAA Memphis on catching and will ease into testing his healed hand with more aggressive swings in the coming days.

Molina, who started at catcher Sunday and was 0 for three with two strikeouts in the Redbirds’ 2-0 win, has mostly avoided swinging the bat. He dropped a suicide squeeze bunt for a run Saturday.

He and the team have agreed that he will not join the club in Los Angeles, where they are Monday-Wednesday to face the Dodgers.

“He’s progressing to how he feels,” manager Mike Shildt said. “He’s able to work on his at-bats as far as tracking the ball. He’s a feel guy. He’s getting his feel working together. Getting back (without) having a setback.”


Unable to set aside innings at the major-league level for Mike Mayers to get a grip on consistency, the Cardinals designated the reliever for assignment Sunday and now hope he slips through waivers and the other 29 teams to reach Class AAA Memphis. The Cardinals promoted rookie Ryan Helsley to serve as another power righthander for multiple innings.

Mayers returned a week ago from an injury that cost him most of the season, and in three of his four appearances he allowed two runs. He walked two in 1 1/3 innings Saturday, and without the ability to option him to Triple-A the Cardinals were stuck.

Now they risk losing the righty with no return.

“Hard to be patient for Mike to get going,” Shildt said. “Just ran out of the opportunities to get him going where we’re at. That’s three times in a row that were inconsistent. It wasn’t bad. Wasn’t bad at all. Just wasn’t the consistency he or we were looking for and the timing of it. He’s got a lot of good baseball ahead of him.”


One of the recurring phrases with the Cardinals this season — whether they’re talking about the roster or about the lineup — is the glut of outfielders they have to choose from. So, naturally, in the past week or so they’ve turned increasingly to an infielder to start in the outfield. Such as utility infielder Yairo Munoz before him, Tommy Edman started in the outfield Sunday, manning right field in a game for the first time since … probably ever, he guessed.

The reason Shildt chose Edman instead of Lane Thomas, an outfielder, was he wanted another lefthanded hitter in the lineup to face A’s starter Tanner Roark. Lefties entered Sunday with a .955 OPS against Roark vs. .607 for righthanded hitters. Edman has an edge when it comes to Shildt’s lineups because he’s a switch-hitter.

“I like guys who can switch-hit, not switch-bat,” Shildt said, drawing a distinction between switch sides of the plate and still being able to produce. “Tommy can legitimately. There are times when we look up and go, yeah, we want to turn this guy around. He’s effective both ways.”

While starting at third in Carpenter’s absence, Edman has been working in the outfield during batting practice. He went out to right early Sunday morning to go through some drills with coach Willie McGee in preparation for the start. Thomas has taken Harrison Bader’s spot on the roster, but not Bader’s regular appearances. A gifted fielder who is probably the Cardinals’ best center fielder on the active roster, Thomas hit a pinch-hit homer Saturday. It was his second in the majors this season.

Shildt said even with infielders in the mix, there are starts for Thomas to claim.

“We’re looking for production, not perfection, but we’re looking for production,” the manager said. “The guys who are going to produce and give us favorable matchups and take us good at-bats and contribute to us moving forward and winning games are going to play.”

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