The National League Central just took a big hit.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds each lost one of their best players to the same injury. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips will undergo surgery Friday for torn ligaments in their thumbs. Phillips is expected to miss “six weeks or so”, but Molina will miss anywhere from eight to 12, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Molina and Phillips were both injured Wednesday. Molina bent his right thumb back on a hard slide into third against the Pittsburgh Pirates and was replaced by Tony Cruz. Phillips injured his left thumb trying to make a diving play against the Chicago Cubs and was replaced by Ramon Santiago.
There’s no word on who will replace either player long-term, but the Cards said that they would take their time to research available catchers. However, Molina will need a replacement for the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
The Reds and Cards were both gaining on the first-place Milwaukee Brewers — who were 1-9 in their last 10 games after a loss Thursday — but the losses might put a damper on their hopes of taking the division. If Molina and Phillips both miss the maximum amount of time, they’ll likely miss the rest of the regular season.
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