Yadier Molina faces three months of recovery after thumb surgery

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After trying to play through a torn ligament in the NLDS with mostly poor results Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair the injury today.

Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the recovery timetable is 8-12 weeks, leaving Molina plenty of room to be ready for spring training.

Next season is a crucial one for Molina, because even before the thumb injury he was showing major signs of slowing down at age 32 and once that happens most catchers don’t bounce back in a big way. He hit just .270 with four homers in 136 games for a .660 OPS that’s his lowest since 2006, when Molina was 23 years old.

He topped a .300 batting average and .800 OPS every year from 2011-2013, but his OPS dropped to .719 last season and bottomed out this year. In terms of leading a pitching staff Molina remains vital to the Cardinals and his ability to control an opponent’s running game hasn’t wavered any, but 2016 will tell us a lot about whether he’ll be an impact hitter again.

Molina is under contract for $14 million in 2016, $14 million in 2017, and a $15 million mutual option or $2 million buyout in 2018. If nothing else St. Louis may look into upgrading the backup catcher spot beyond light-hitting Tony Cruz.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.