8/15/2014 7:51 P.M. ET
Yadi hopes to be swinging bat next week
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina, making his first public comments since he resumed catching, said on Friday that he hopes to begin swinging a bat as early as next week.
Molina now sits five weeks removed from undergoing surgery on his right thumb, a procedure that was expected to sideline him for 8-to-12 weeks. He caught his first bullpen session since the surgery on Thursday and has been throwing with a softer brace for the last two days. Gripping a bat will be his next challenge.
"I can't wait to grab a bat and see how the hand reacts to it," Molina said. "I'm feeling good. I'm way better than I expected. I'm feeling very good."
Molina said he has felt "no pain at all" in the week since a hard cast was removed from his hand. He described his catching as "a little rough," though only because of the layoff. Molina refrained from setting a target date for a return, noting that it's up to the doctors to give him clearance for each subsequent step in the recovery.
In addition to swinging, Molina will have to show that he can throw without the brace before beginning a rehab assignment in the Minors.
"Every time you miss games and aren't there helping the team, it's tough," Molina said. "But right now, I can do nothing but prepare myself to come back. Hopefully the team is there right in the race, and I can come back to help the team win."
Cards set to induct quartet into club Hall of Fame
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals opened the doors to their new Hall of Fame and Museum back in April, at which time the organization unveiled the plaques of the first 22 players to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. On Saturday, those 22 will be joined by another four.
The Cardinals careers of Willie McGee, Jim Edmonds, Marty Marion and Mike Shannon will be celebrated during a 10:30 a.m. CT induction ceremony inside Ballpark Village. While the first wave of inductees earned automatic enshrinement because they had previously been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as Cardinals or had their number retired by the club, Saturday's group was selected through a voting process that included input from fans and a panel of baseball experts.
The organization assembled a Red Ribbon Panel back in January to select a veteran player inductee, defined as someone who spent at least three seasons with the Cardinals and had been retired from baseball for at least 40 years. Marion, who played 13 seasons in St. Louis, including 11 with the Cardinals, won that vote. He was the National League MVP Award winner in 1944 and a member of three championship clubs.
The Red Ribbon Panel also formed a ballot of modern player candidates, which was then handed over to the fans. Through an online ballot that garnered nearly 80,000 votes, McGee and Edmonds received the most support.
McGee spent 13 of his 18 Major League seasons with the Cardinals and was also an MVP winner (1985) while with the organization. The two-time Gold Glove Award winner ranks ninth in franchise history with 1,661 games played and helped the Cardinals to their ninth championship, in 1982.
Edmonds hit .285 and averaged 30 homers a year during his eight-year tenure with the Cardinals. Beginning in 2000, he won six consecutive Gold Gloves and was a part of six postseason Cardinals teams. He ranks fourth on the franchise list with 241 home runs.
Shannon, a club selection for enshrinement, won two championships during his nine-year career with the Cardinals. He is now in his 43rd season calling games for the Cardinals' radio network.
The three living inductees -- McGee, Edmonds and Shannon -- will all be present at Saturday's induction ceremony, along with Martinna Dill, Marion's daughter. Cardinals and Baseball Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Whitey Herzog, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Tony La Russa are also expected to be attendance.
Fans interested in coming to the ceremony can purchase an $18 ticket at cardinals.com/hof. The ticket includes admission and a Hall of Fame Induction Day issue of Cardinals Magazine.
The ceremony will be streamed live on cardinals.com, and it also will be shown on FOX Sports Midwest at the conclusion of Sunday's game (1:15 p.m. CT first pitch). KMOX 1120 will air a one-hour, tape-delay broadcast at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday.
• Both manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak accepted the now viral Ice Bucket Challenge in order to help raise awareness for ALS, a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The two took turns dumping a cooler of ice and cold water on each other in the Cardinals' dugout Friday. Matheny said he also plans to make a donation to the ALS Foundation.
The pair then passed the challenge along to Edmonds, FOX Sports Midwest reporter Jim Hayes and St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz.
• Matheny started Shane Robinson over Oscar Taveras in right field for a second straight game on Friday, but said the decision was made mostly as a nod to Robinson. Robinson robbed the Padres of an early extra-base hit in Thursday's game and then threw out the potential tying run in the ninth. He also had one of the Cardinals' seven hits.
"If you look at last night's game," Matheny said, "I'm not sure the turnout was the same if Shane wasn't out there."
• Xavier Scruggs and Pete Kozma both enjoyed four-hit nights in Triple-A Memphis' 17-7 win over Albuquerque. Scruggs tallied six RBIs as he became the second Memphis player with a multi-homer game this season. Scruggs also scored four runs and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Kozma had two extra-base hits and drove in four. Memphis matched a season-high with 21 total hits.
• NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Jordy Nelson were on-field guests of the Cardinals during batting practice on Thursday. The Packers are in town to face the St. Louis Rams in a preseason game on Saturday.
• The Cardinals have added two more theme nights to their promotional schedule with KMOX Day (Sept. 3) and Fall Scout Night (Sept. 16). Fans buying theme tickets for KMOX Day will receive a limited edition KMOX Cardinals shirt. The Scout Night tickets are $12 and come with a voucher for a free hot dog and soda. For more details on the theme nights and/or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.