Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has a “slight ligament tear” in thumb

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Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced that seven-time All-Star catcher Yadier Molina has a “slight ligament tear” in his left thumb, which he injured Sunday in a play at the plate against the Cubs.

Mozeliak expressed optimism that Molina will be able to play again this season, but he’ll be shut down for at least 5-7 days and the Cardinals are left with light-hitting longtime backup Tony Cruz as their primary catcher with just two weeks remaining until the playoffs.

Molina’s offensive production has been underwhelming this season with a .270 batting average and four homers in 136 games for a .660 OPS that is his lowest mark since 2006 and 156 points below his combined .816 OPS from 2011-2014. Of course, even in a down year Molina is a better hitter than Cruz–a lifetime .215 hitter with a .551 OPS–and being without the seven-time Gold Glove winner defensively is the real loss.