The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/17

Catcher Yadier Molina, who suffered what was called a mild concussion when he was banged into by Philadelphia base-runner Eric Bruntlett on Sunday, left the hospital Monday and will be examined by club medical personnel on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

The club made no immediate move to call up another catcher in a potential absence, however brief, by Molina. The candidates would be veteran Mark Johnson and young Bryan Anderson, both left-handed batters playing at Class AAA Memphis. Johnson has had more than 900 at-bats in a major league career spent mostly with the Chicago White Sox. Neither was in Monday night's Memphis lineup.

If Molina can't play yet, the only catcher on the Cardinals club is light-hitting Jason LaRue.

While there may be a roster move made involving another catcher, there is uncertainty about the pitching rotation following right-handers Joel Pineiro and Braden Looper in the first two games of a series with the Kansas City Royals beginning Tuesday in St. Louis.

Wellemeyer, who missed a start with elbow inflammation, allowed three consecutive home runs in the first inning of a 20-2 loss to Philadelphia Friday night and reported elbow stiffness afterward. He is doubtful for a start on Thursday and could be replaced by Anthony Reyes, just recalled from Class AAA Memphis.

But not -- at least not yet -- left-hander Mark Mulder, who was impressive in a five-inning rehabilitation start last Saturday for Class AA Springfield as he continues his long fight to pitch his way back into the rotation after two shoulder surgeries. Manager Tony La Russa said Mulder, who has rebuilt his motion, would need at least one more minor league start.

"We need him to come up and be Mark Mulder," said La Russa.


--The Cardinals have won a league-high 15 series this season and have lost just three.

--RHP Matt Clement is throwing freely in his rehab starts as he tries to recover from shoulder surgery but his velocity still is stuck in the mid-80s, not ready for prime time.

--OF Joe Mather, just sent back to Class AAA Memphis, was removed during the game on Sunday night and did not start on Monday, leading to speculation that he would be recalled, if only for one series, while the Cardinals probably are without C Yadier Molina as an offensive threat.

--The Cardinals are only 10-8 against Kansas City in interleague play in St. Louis.

--RHP Brad Thompson's rehab from an elbow problem continues. Thompson allowed four runs in five innings for Class AAA Memphis over the weekend.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 in 8 -- Number of consecutive home runs allowed in eight pitches to the Philadelphia Phillies by RHP Todd Wellemeyer in the first inning on June 13.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm excited there will be a whole season when I'll be back and I'll contribute." -- 1B Albert Pujols, happy his strained left calf isn't so bad that he might be able to play by the end of June.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories