The injury ended up being a bruise, and not a break, which was great news for a Cardinals team that's taken advantage of what could be a career year for Molina in the first season of his enormous new contract. Molina's hitting .296/.344/.504 on the season, continuing a power surge that began, for the formerly punchless catcher, in the middle of 2011. He's presently on pace for 59 doubles and 20 home runs, which looked like reasonable bets for his career totals back when he was struggling to slug over .300 in 2006.
Here's the depth situation for Molina, just in case you want to be nervous some more: Tony Cruz is hitting 3-21 in the kind of limited playing time you get when you're Yadier Molina's backup. Meanwhile, in the minor leagues, left-handed ex-prospect Bryan Anderson started the season off in an impossibly bad slump before righting the ship of late. He's hitting .146.
Meanwhile, in AA, the Springfield Cardinals have a platoon between 26-year-old, .201-hitting organizational soldier Nick Derba and erstwhile sleeper prospect Audry Perez, who, given the platoon situation, I think it's safe to say the Cardinals are also sleeping on. He's hitting .263/.283/.404.
On Tuesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals had quite a scare when reliever Mitchell Boggs gunned a 90+ mile-per-hour fastball towards the plate that crossed up catcher Yadier Molina -- who had called a slider on the pitch -- and struck him on the left hand. Molina left the game and had Cardinals fans thinking about how the team could possibly replace a four-time Rawlings Gold Glove award winner and a three-time National League All-Star, but it appears both Molina and the team got lucky this time.
Without Molina the Cardinals would likely go to some combination of Tony Cruz, who is 2-17 since winning the backup catcher job out of spring training, and erstwhile prospect Bryan Anderson, who began the season extremely slowly at AAA Memphis after losing it and is now hitting .122 there. Cruz is a better defensive player, while Anderson, who is left-handed, likely has the better offensive skill-set.
But however well they performed, the drop from the hitting-star Molina we've seen since the 2011 all-star break to two replacement players would be a major blow for a Cardinals team that lacks depth and upside at the position.