Cheap Seats

Catchers out, pitchers struggle... Coincidence?

Cardinals co-aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright got roughed up on back to back days this week. Is it a coincidence? Or is it the real price the team will pay for the loss of catchers Yadier Molina and Jason LaRue to injury?

It's easy to notice that Class AAA reciever Matt Pagnozzi isn't ready to face major league pitching. But it's less obvious that St. Louis starters have a very high comfort level with the way Molina and LaRue manage hitters... And maybe not so much confidence in a rookie catcher who doesn't know much yet about getting the best hitters in the world out.

blog post photo

Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue is checked out by trainer Barry Weinberg following a collision at home plate with Mets outfielder Jason Bay. LaRue has a bone bruise in his left hand and is listed as day-to-day. AP photo.

The Cardinals were fortunate to learn earlier this week that LaRue has a bruised hand and not a broken one after a collision at the plate against the Mets. But he has reportedly suffered a lot of swelling, and with opening day four days away, the odds are slim he'll recover that fast.

Molina is recovering from an oblique strain. And, while the team hasn't been very forthcoming with updates on his recovery, it is conceivable that Yadi could come back in time for opening day. But oblique strains can become a chronic problem if they aren't properly healed before the player comes back. So the Birds can't afford to risk losing Molina for a long time for the short term benefit of having him behind the dish for the first week of the season.

We may just have to bite the bullet on this one...