The ability to make a quick acquisition without having to give up any young talent was a driving force in the St Louis Cardinals’ decision to sign veteran catcher George Kotteras, according to Cards’ GM John Mozeliak.
“It was fortuitous in terms of timing,” Mozeliak said beforeFriday’s game with the first place Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. “It was a straight waiver deal,” he said, alluding to other potential catchers like A.J. Pierzinski as players who might want to explore all options, something the Cardinals could not wait for.
“I think it would be fair to say he’s more of a bat than a glove at this point. He gives us some experience back there as well. You look at what we have and a lot of it is inexperienced. This gives us the flexibility to explore other options. I don’t want to say that we are necessarily continuing to look for more help there, but this is a short term fix.”
Mozeliak also said surgeries on Yadier Molina’s damaged thumb and the thoracic decompression surgery on Jaime Garcia’s shoulder were both performed Friday and both were successful.
“The ligaments in Yadi’s thumb were completely torn off,” he said, indicating the area near the web between the thumb and forefinger. The GM said the ligaments allow the thumb to move back and forth. His recovery is expected to take 8-12 weeks.
Mozeliak said Garcia’s surgery was also successful and doctors have said that it was completely necessary. The impingement on the nerves caused severe pain and some numbness and the removal of a rib should relieve that pressure. It will be a long and, at least in the beginning, extremely painful recovery.
Mozeliak said former Cardinal pitcher Chris Carpenter – who also underwent the surgery while a member of the Cardinals – told him it was “the worst pain he’s ever had.” Garcia is expected to return next season.
In other news, Mozeliak said the Redbirds’ left-hander Kevin Siegrist went to Double A Springfield to begin a rehab stint before rejoining the Cardinals sometimes after the All-Star break. He was sent to Memphis because the Double A league has already had its all-star game, thus allowing him to get his work.
Mozeliak said Siegrist is expected to rejoin the club in about one to two weeks.