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Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina could use a break

There is no good time for the St. Louis Cardinals to be without their All-Star catcher Yadier Molina.

But if he had to be injured, this is about the best time the Redbirds could have hoped for.

Molina, who sprained his thumb sliding into third base Wednesday night in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, can get eight days of rest and miss only four games thanks to the rapidly-approaching break surrounding the All-Star Game.

I'm sure Molina will be tempted to get back on the field as soon as he can. But, even if he is capable of toughing it out, the two-time Platinum Glove Award winner ought to take advantage of the opportunity to recharge.

We all heard before the 2014 season started that Molina was probably going to get more rest than he's had in seasons past. But that hasn't panned out. He's played in 83 of his team's 92 games so far. At age 31, that seems to have taken a toll. Molina, at times, has seemed tired and his bat sometimes is a hair slow.

In April Molina hit .350. But when May rolled around he started to slow, batting .266. Then in June he cratered with a .210 average. He was hitting .357 in nine games in July, showing some new signs of life. But it couldn't hurt to give him eight days off in the middle of the season to recharge his batteries and set him up for the push to the finish line.

If the injury required more time off, the Cardinals have some options for reasonable fill-ins.

Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Seattle Mariners backstop John Buck are expected to hit free agency after being cut loose by their respective teams this week. Neither is Yadier Molina. But Pierzynski has, historically, been a pretty good offensive catcher while Buck is more of a defensive specialist.