Molina slots in as Cards' DH
After concussion, catcher not yet cleared behind the plate
BOSTON -- Yadier Molina was in. Then he was out. In the end, he was sort of in, but not entirely.
Molina, who has not started at catcher since Sunday, was back in St Louis' lineup on Friday but only as the designated hitter. He sustained a concussion on Sunday in the Cardinals' win over the Phillies.
When manager Tony La Russa first posted the Cardinals' lineup for Friday night's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Molina was written in as the starting catcher. But at about 5:30 p.m. ET, La Russa told reporters that he was scratching Molina from the lineup, because Molina had not been fully cleared in imPACT neurological testing.
Finally, an in-between option was reached. Molina was kept out of catching, but inserted as the Cardinals' DH.
"He's feeling good and he wants to play, but we're going to err on the side of caution," La Russa said. "He's good enough to where I wrote him in the lineup, and then the trainers came in and said, 'Look, you probably should hold him out another day.' So we'll see if it's another day or two or whatever. He's impatient to go, but so is Albert [Pujols, on the disabled list with a left calf strain]."
Jason LaRue received his fourth straight start at catcher.
Elsewhere in a somewhat unusual lineup, Cesar Izturis batted leadoff, thanks to his history of success against opposing starter Tim Wakefield. Skip Schumaker moved from left field to right and Ryan Ludwick from right to left, because of the greater amount of room in right field at Fenway.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.