With their loss to the Cubs Thursday night, the Cardinals have been eliminated from postseason contention for this season. That’s unfamiliar territory under Mike Matheny, as this weekend’s series against the Brewers will mark the first games of his managerial career that, to be blunt, don’t really matter.
For that reason, the Cardinals have decided to mitigate health risks for a number of ailing players, shutting them for the remainder of the season. Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Tyler Lyons are among those who will not play for St. Louis this weekend.
Molina had been held out of action since being hit in the mask by consecutive foul tips in Monday’s game. He remains in the concussion protocol and without anything left to play for, there’s no reason to take an unnecessary risk.
The same can be said for Carpenter, who has dealt with a shoulder injury for much of this season. Carpenter does not expect the injury to require offseason surgery, but he will undergo an MRI to ensure there is no structural damage in the shoulder.
For Wainwright, his return from elbow troubles will be put on pause, as now the veteran righty will have the full offseason to heal the injury that has kept him on the shelf for the latter portion of the season. The Lyons shutdown could be something to keep an eye on going into the winter, as the lefty began this season on the DL while recovering from November knee surgery.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carlos Martinez remains the scheduled starter for the season finale Sunday, though with nothing to gain and plenty to risk by running him out there, it would not be surprising to see Martinez skipped for that start.