The Cardinals are just one game back of the Brewers in the loss column in the National League Central and they could be back to full strength soon.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that if all goes well during a full workout tomorrow, Molina could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday. When the veteran backstop tore a ligament in his right thumb on July 9, the initial fear was that he would miss the remainder of the regular season, but he now appears on track to rejoin the Cardinals for the final month.
Meanwhile, Langosch reports that Wacha is scheduled to throw live batting practice to Springfield hitters on Wednesday. The 23-year-old right-hander has been sidelined since mid-June with a stress reaction in his shoulder, but the Cardinals are hopeful that he’ll be able to pitch in September.
UPDATE: Even better news for the Cardinals here, as Molina will apparently begin his rehab stint on Tuesday:
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.