Yadier Molina Undergoes Thumb Surgery

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina underwent surgery this afternoon to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, as reported by Jen Langosch of MLB.com. 

Following the conclusion of the operation, Langosch reported that Molina will be shut down from all baseball activity for the next eight to twelve weeks as he looks to fully heal the injury. 

This is not the first time that Yadier has suffered this particular injury, having done so once before back in the summer of 2014, yet it was his right thumb as opposed to his left. 

Molina sustained his current injury in mid-September, urging him to sit out the final weeks of the 2015 regular season. Yadier attempted to make a playoff comeback trying to convince both himself and the team that he was healthy enough to start the NLDS, which didn't last.

The 33 year-old catcher played in three NLDS games against the Chicago Cubs but then had to exit during game three after a swing which looked to have caused severe pain in his hand. Molina did not appear in game four, giving backup catcher Tony Cruz the start in that game.  The series wrapped up on Tuesday night with the Cubs victory at Wrigley Field, taking the series three games to one.

When asked about Yadier's current status, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said, "Had we not been a playoff team, we maybe would have dealt with it three weeks ago. But it shows you how tough he is and how willing he was to help us."

As part of a statement made by Mozeliak in a press conference this afternoon, he said that Molina should be able to resume baseball activities in December, and is expected to be fully set to go for the start of Spring Training, abstaining a potential setback. 

Before this injury started to become an issue, Yadier found himself amidst a season of struggles, having hit .270/.310/.350 with four home runs and 61 RBI's, after having made a total of 488 plate appearances for the season.

In related news, veteran right-hander Matt Belisle, who will become a free agent after the World Series, is having his right elbow scoped on Monday. Doctors expect it to be a relatively routine procedure, during which loose bone chips will be removed. Belisle was placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury in late June and then made just four appearances the rest of the way. He was left off the Cardinals' NLDS roster.

Jordan Walden, who was placed on the DL at the end of April missed the remainder of the season due to right biceps inflammation and will spend his winter rehabbing in Texas. The Cardinals are optimistic that he'll be at full health come the start of Spring Training. 

Also, RHP Carlos Martinez will have a normal off-season, spending the majority of it in Jupiter, Florida getting ready for Spring Training, while outfielder's Matt HollidayRandal Grichuk, and Jon Jay are all expected to have normal off-seasons as well before reporting to the club's Spring Training complex in Jupiter. 

As mentioned by MLBTradeRumors, Molina is set to earn $14M in each of the next two seasons as part of a five-year, $75MM extension signed in Spring Training 2012. St. Louis also holds a $15MM option on Molina for the 2018 season, which comes with a $2MM buyout.

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