Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said before the team's Saturday game against the Twins that his biggest concern about Jason LaRue's ability to play on opening day was the veteran catcher's ability to hit after bruising his hand last week.
LaRue put any concerns to rest at Target Field by collecting a pair of hits that proved he could swing the bat just fine.
Meanwhile, starting catcher Yadier Molina was held out of the Cardinals last exhibition game and if he will be activated in time for Monday's season opener in Cincinnati has not yet been decided. It's hard to tell if the Birds just wanted to get Yadi a couple extra days of rest ... Or if La Russa held him out of the last exhibition game so Molina can be placed on the disabled list retroactive to the date of his injury.
La Russa needs to be careful with Molina because Yadi's the sort of player who wants to be in the game all the time. But an oblique strain is nothing to mess with. If Molina comes back too soon, he could aggravate the injury and miss a month or more when the games really count.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat