When Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb on July 11, it was estimated that he would miss 8-12 weeks. He already appears to be ahead of schedule.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com brings word that Molina has been cleared to begin some baseball activities. He started today by catching a bullpen session for the first time since surgery. While he still wore a soft cast on his throwing hand, he was also able to make some light tosses. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that Molina “is feeling like he wants to push it,” but he’ll have to grip a bat and hit without discomfort before being cleared for a minor league rehab assignment.
Molina, who will be five weeks removed from surgery tomorrow, was batting .287/.341/.409 with seven home runs and 30 RBI over 83 games prior to the injury.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.