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Cardinals injury update: Yadier Molina has a 'slight tear' in his thumb

The Cardinals may have to finish 2015 without their All-Star catcher.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

On a play during yesterday's game agains the Cubs, Yadier Molina appeared to injure his hand while tagging out Anthony Rizzo at home plate.

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The trainer rushed out of the dugout to tend to Molina, who was clearly in pain. After the game, he told reporters that, "It hurt. It hurts right now standing here. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to know what it is." Mike Matheny expressed concern for his catcher, and according to Bob Nightengale, it could cost Molina the rest of 2015.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Yadier Molina has slight tear in thumb and will be reevaluated in week to determine if he can return this season <a href="">#stlcards</a></p>&mdash; Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) <a href="">September 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Cardinals GM, John Mozeliak is "cautiously optimistic" that Molina will be able to return before the postseason, but at this point it's too early to know for certain. He'll be re-evaluated a week from now, and until then Tony Cruz will likely take over as their everyday catcher. At least for now, the Cardinals don't seem to be too worried that Molina will be out for the postseason, as they're taking about his return in terms of "when" and not "if".

While Molina hasn't had a great year offensively, according to FanGraphs he's the third most valuable defensive catcher, and has saved six runs this year, the second best total in baseball.

The Cardinals also received an update on injured starter Adam Wainwright.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="">#Stlcards</a> meanwhile get clearance that Adam Wainwright can return this season and could pitch out of bullpen</p>&mdash; Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) <a href="">September 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Without Wainwright, the Cardinals have posted a team ERA of 2.92, and accrued a team fWAR of 20.4, which is second best in MLB. However in September, their pitchers haven't been as reliable, as Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, and Jaime Garcia have all posted ERA's higher than 5.00.

It's unclear what Wainwright's role in the bullpen will be for the rest of the regular season, but it couldn't have come at a better time. In the month of September, the Cardinals are 8-11, and need all the help they can get to hold off the Pirates and Cubs for the NL Central lead.