Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina Heads to IL with Thumb Injury

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina #4. Photo by Albert Pena/CSM/Shutterstock (10240723v)

St. Louis Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina just can’t seem to get his right thumb to full health this season. The veteran catcher is headed to the injured list for the second time this season due to a nagging thumb strain that will put him on the shelf for approximately three weeks.

The Cardinals will hope that Molina’s injured list stint will help him get back to full health. While he might simply be declining in ability, many have theorized that the Puerto Rican’s struggles this season can be attributed to his problematic right thumb.

Molina has hit only .261/.286/.368 this season, one of the worst seasons of his career. The normally productive veteran catcher has hit only four home runs in 71 games last season after belting 20 in 2018.

The Cardinals, who are currently a game under .500 at 44-45 and in third place in the uber-competitive NL Central, will turn to backup catcher Matt Wieters in Molina’s stead. The former Orioles catcher hasn’t been much better in light duty this season, as he’s hitting only .224.

The catching position has been problematic for the Cardinals this season, and their hope now is that a lengthy IL stint will help Yadier Molina recover, become fully healthy and start to provide more production at the plate over the stretch run.