The Cardinals might be without Yadier Molina for a while. Maybe even the playoffs.
Molina has a torn ligament in his left thumb, which will shelve him at least for the next week, and possibly longer (Cardinals.com). As Miguel Montero has demonstrated, at least generally, a catcher can keep going with an injured glove-hand thumb so long as he can tolerate the pain and still receive the ball and swing a bat.
The play on which the injury happened was the now-infamous decision to send Anthony Rizzo on Addison Russell’s pop fly back on Sunday:
It’s clear immediately that Molina is hurt, but because of the size of the moment, that really didn’t get a lot of attention right then. Indeed, Molina even stayed in the game to finish out that inning.
If the Cardinals are without Molina through the playoffs, that will obviously have a negative impact on their overall success, though he’d probably be missed more behind the plate than at it. On the year, Molina, 33, is hitting just .270/.310/.350 (80 wRC+).
Then again, Molina’s primary backup, Tony Cruz, is hitting .178/.207/.224, so …