(BasbeballStL) -- Since All-Star catcher Yadier Molina went on the DL July 31, the Cardinals have gone 4-4 dropping a game to the Reds and three to the Dodgers.
In his absence, Cardinal backups have gone 10-for-48, which is a gentlemanly .208 average.
Obviously the stud catcher's return is anxiously awaited, especially with the Cardinal offense struggling to find consistent run production. In their 11 recent losses, the club has scored more than three runs just twice, and scored one run or less five times.
Molina's production can't return soon enough, and so far, he seems to be on track.
"He threw a few days ago, couple days ago, he was hitting in the cage today," said Mike Matheny. "I think everything went well. I think he's just going to get ramped up every day."
Tony Cruz has handled the bulk of the work behind the plate in Molina's absence, and he'll get the start against the Cubs Friday.
In the meantime, Molina's knee will be the most closely-watched body part in St. Louis now that Shelby Miller's elbow seems to be healing on schedule.
In response to questions about running, Matheny said his veteran game caller is responding well to training and has not seen any setbacks.
"He's been doing some pretty intense training with the trainers as far as the running stuff goes," the manager said. "It looks like he's answering every question we've given him."
Moline is eligible to return Augutst 15. The Cardinals play three with the floundering Cubs before getting a day off Monday.