As has been the case with the Cardinals all season, the good news comes with bad news. All-Star catcher Yadier Molina has returned from his five-game suspension and utility slugger Allen Craig is back from a fractured knee cap. However, emerging rookie reliever Lance Lynn is heading to the 15-day disabled list, while cleanup hitter Matt Holliday is out with a tweaked back.
Molina had sat out the entire four-game series with the Florida Marlins, as well as the first game of this Milwaukee Brewers’ series. The Gold Glove winner had received a five-game suspension for an uncharacteristic outburst. Molina did not agree with a strikeout call from home plate umpire Rob Drake in the 10th inning last Tuesday, and unintentionally spit while arguing.
Craig was one of the most potent bats in a potent Cardinal lineup before he fractured his knee cap trying to field a popup in foul territory. He is a big threat both off the bench and when in the starting lineup. Depending on how free agency turns out this offseason, Craig may be an even bigger part of the Cardinals next season. He can play left field, right field, third base, second base or first base. His versatility will make his bat easy to inject into the lineup. The slugger was on a 12-game rehab stint.
Lynn was having a stellar run, quickly finding himself in big situations out of the bullpen. His velocity has been somewhat surprising with a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s. Lynn has been placed on the DL with a strained left oblique muscle and his return is unknown at this point. The rookie’s numbers this year have been great…
Lynn: 1-1, with a 3.12 ERA, 25 hits, 40 strikeouts and 11 walks in 34.2 innings
Holliday’s injury is not serious, but nevertheless left St. Louis without its cleanup hitter for the final two games of an important series with Milwaukee. The All-Star strained a back muscle while lifting weights before Wednesday’s game. He is expected to be available by tomorrow.
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