It looks like the Cardinals will have at least one of their major league catchers available for duty when the season opens on Monday.
According to the team's Web site, Jason LaRue said Friday that he is ready to go while starting received Yadier Molina is making progress and is still considered to be day-to-day.
It wouldn't surprise me -- if La Rue is healthy -- should the Cardinals decided to disable Molina and go with Matt Pagnozzi as the backup. Molina's disabling would keep him out for at least five games because it could be backdated to the last time he played, which means best case scenario that he could be eligible to play in time for the Redbirds home opener a week from Monday.
Of course, Molina is a tough guy and will want to play if there is any way possible. But an oblique strain can be a tricky injury and the team needs to make sure that it's completely healed our else it could lose him for a month or more if Yadi aggravates it.
The Birds really don't need a third catcher because they are well covered with emergency guys. Nick Stavinoha, who made the roster when Julio Lugo was traded, has trained to be a backup backstop. And reliever Jason Motte was a catcher before being converted to the other terminal of the battery.