Yadi’s back! Molina returns to catch Wainwright Tuesday as Cards battle Cubs at Busch

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina tips his cap as he steps up to bat during the first inning...
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina tips his cap as he steps up to bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday, April 7, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - With the trade deadline arriving at 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, the Cardinals are gearing up for the postseason push with more certainty over who will be part of this team for the stretch run of the season.

After a lengthy hiatus, catcher Yadier Molina is back among that group. Molina returns to the Cardinals on Tuesday night in time to reunite for the series opener with the Cubs at Busch Stadium with Adam Wainwright as one of MLB’s most prolific batteries of all-time.

Reliever Junior Fernandez was optioned to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Molina on the active roster.

Molina has spent the bulk of the last six weeks resting and rehabbing a knee injury but recently came back to gear up with a rehab assignment for the Memphis Redbirds ahead of his return to St. Louis.

The 40-year-old backstop is hitting just .213 with a career-low .519 OPS in the final season of his storied big-league career. After arriving late to spring training in Jupiter, Florida in March, it was evident at times that Molina was not in his customary playing shape. Though the veteran catcher has been out of action and rehabbing knee soreness at his home in Puerto Rico, he told reporters Tuesday that he feels much more prepared to play his best baseball today than he did at times earlier this season.

Molina is batting eighth in the St. Louis lineup on Tuesday, pairing with Wainwright for their 317th MLB start as a battery.