The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to place stalwart catcher Yadier Molina on the 10-day injured list with knee soreness, reports The Athletic. The team has not yet announced the roster move. Molina received multiple cortisone shots last weekend and was cleared to return Tuesday. He caught the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader as well as Wednesday night’s game.
Molina, 40 next month, has been one of the game’s great workhorse catchers throughout his career. He is one of six players all-time with 2,000 career games at catcher and he is fourth all-time in innings caught. Here’s the list:
- Ivan Rodriguez: 20,348
- Carlton Fisk: 18,511 2/3
- Bob Boone: 18,459
- Yadier Molina: 17,980
- Gary Carter: 17,368 2/3
It goes without saying knee trouble comes with the territory for a catcher Molina’s age and with that career workload. It is a demanding position and Molina’s longevity is one reason he’ll one day join Rodriguez, Fisk and Carter in the Hall of Fame.
There is no timetable for Molina’s return and it’s worth noting he’s approaching a few significant career milestones. He and Adam Wainwright have 315 career games as a battery, second most in history behind Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan (324). Also, Molina is at 2,145 career games at catcher, putting him within striking distance of Fisk (2,226) all-time. Rodriguez leads with 2,427.
The Cardinals have won five of their past seven games and have moved into first place in the NL Central. With Molina sidelined, the club will lean on Andrew Knizner and top prospect Iván Herrera behind the plate. Knizner is a career .193/.282/.269 big league hitter and Herrera owns a .291/.388/.436 batting line in Triple-A.
Molina is hitting .213/.225/.294 with two home runs this season, though much of his value is tied up in his defense and his work with the pitching staff. Last year Molina said he intends to retire following this season.
St. Louis opens a three-game weekend series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night.