July 1, 2022

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Injuries & Moves: Molina dealing with soreness

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Keep track of the Cardinals’ recent transactions and injury updates throughout the season.

C Yadier Molina (general soreness)
Expected return: Day to day
When Albert Pujols went out to warm up pitcher Miles Mikolas between innings on Friday, it provided some comic relief for the Cardinals. As it turns out, Pujols was doing it as a favor to close friend and teammate Yadier Molina, who is dealing with general soreness and pain in his right knee. The 39-year-old Molina reported to Spring Training late because of a personal matter and then didn’t get in as many in-game repetitions as he wanted. Now, manager Oliver Marmol said the team is taking a conservative approach to Molina’s playing time in order to save the veteran catcher for the long haul of a 162-game season. “His knee [soreness] is no different than his knee from the last several years and several other body parts [injured] because this guy has played often when he was less than 100 percent,” Marmol said. “We’ll continue [to monitor Molina’s playing time] for another week or so. I think protecting him and playing the long game to make sure he’s ready is the right thing to do.”

Andrew Knizner, whom the Cardinals have said will play more this season, got his third start of the season on Saturday. Knizner has made it easier to rest Molina by delivering four hits, five RBIs and a home run in his first two starts so far. – John Denton (Last updated: April 16)

RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder bursitis)
Expected return: TBD
Flaherty, a nine-game winner last season before being slowed by oblique and shoulder injuries, reported progress with his right shoulder on April 15 following a pregame throwing session. With pitching coach Mike Maddux looking on, Flaherty had an extended throwing session at 120 feet at Milwaukee’s American Family Field. Flaherty was bothered by shoulder pain throughout the offseason and needed a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder in early March to calm the inflammation. He was happy with the work he put in, saying: “I was throwing at 120 feet, and we’re just continuing to build up while playing catch. We’ll continue to build off that.”

Flaherty, the Cardinals Opening Day starter in 2019 and ’20, said his injury troubles last season taught him patience and have helped him with the rehabilitation process this time around. Said Flaherty: “Having gone through this before — not necessarily with my shoulder, but my oblique — it’s about understanding the process that it takes to get back right and build up [my arm] during the season and making sure that everything is right and ready to go.” Flaherty, who has not thrown off a mound since last season, said he will likely have several more throwing sessions before a rehab stint becomes a possibility. — John Denton (Last updated: April 15)

RHP Alex Reyes (right shoulder soreness)
Expected return:
TBD
Reyes, an All-Star last season, left Spring Training on March 16 and headed to Pensacola, Fla., to meet with famed orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, about the lingering pain in his throwing shoulder. Reyes was scheduled to have what manager Oliver Marmol called “a therapeutic injection” in the shoulder. Reyes, who was 10-8 with 29 saves last season, is scheduled to report back to Spring Training by March 18, when a course of action will be determined. Marmol said he is almost certain that Reyes — who hasn’t thrown off a mound since late last season — won’t be ready for Opening Day. — John Denton (Last updated: March 16)

RHP Ljay Newsome (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return
: 2022
Newsome, who was claimed by the Cardinals at the end of October, underwent Tommy John surgery during the 2021 season and should be ready later in the 2022 season. Newsome was one of the 153 players invited to the Cardinals’ Minor League Spring Training camp. Newsome continues to work his way back after last appearing in seven games in the 2021 season with the Mariners. — John Denton (Last updated: March 16)

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