Wieters may benefit from a shortened regular season, as the reduced number of games could prompt the Cardinals to keep prospect Andrew Knizner at Triple-A Memphis throughout the campaign.
Neither Wieters nor Knizner did much to speak of at the plate before spring training was suspended, and the fact that both the major- and minor-league seasons will almost certainly be abbreviated to some degree this year could work in the veteran's favor. Wieters was brought back on a team-friendly $2 million deal for 2020, which implied the Cardinals likely preferred to keep Knizner down on the farm for additional seasoning. The fact the 25-year-old scuffled offensively this spring and has a modest 83 games of Triple-A experience further increases the probability he stays with the Redbirds for the duration of the shortened season before a projected ascension in 2021.
Wieters was hitting .158 (3-for-19) with one double, one home run, three RBI, one walk and two runs across eight Grapefruit League games before spring training was suspended.
The veteran catcher returned to St. Louis on a one-year contract to once again serve as Yadier Molina's backup, and although he's endured a sluggish spring, he still remains the clear favorite to open the season in that role after slugging 11 home runs across 67 games during his first Cardinals season in 2019. Andrew Knizner is also in camp and considered the heir apparent to Molina, but he's also struggled this spring (.154 average across 13 games) and is expected to open the season in Triple-A Memphis.
Wieters agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Cardinals on Sunday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
The 33-year-old's return to the Cardinals has been rumored throughout the offseason, and he'll now officially serve as Yadier Molina's backup for a second season. Wieters posted a .214/.268/.435 slash line with 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 67 games (183 plate appearances in 2019, as Molina played in his fewest number of games (113) since 2014.
Wieters slugged a pinch-hit, two-run home run in his only at-bat during a win over the Nationals on Wednesday.
Wieters' first at-bat since Aug. 31 could hardly have been scripted better, as he launched a 368-foot shot to right off former battery mate Max Scherzer with Tommy Edman aboard to extend the Cardinals' lead to its final 5-1 margin. Wieters appears to finally be over the calf strain that had plagued him the entirety of September and will be available to give Yadier Molina any needed breathers over the last week-plus of St. Louis' postseason push.
Wieters (calf) responded well to participation in baseball activities the last two days and was available off the bench Tuesday night against the Nationals, the Associated Press reports. "Wieters is cleared," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. "He's available."
The veteran catcher's return to action gives Shildt a left-handed option off the bench during the stretch run, as well as a reliable backup to fellow graybeard backstop Yadier Molina. Wieters had been sidelined the entirety of September with his calf strain.
Wieters (calf) ramped up the intensity of his workouts again Saturday at Busch Stadium and reports he is essentially feeling back to normal, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The veteran backstop has been working on being able to push off on his initial step out of the batter's box without discomfort, and this latest report seems to indicate that Wieters was able to successfully accomplish that task Saturday. Manager Mike Shildt confirmed Wieters seems to be on the verge of a return, with how he feels in the early part of the week after the ramp-up in activity likely key in determining how close Wieters may be to activation.
Wieters (calf) took catching drills without issue before Wednesday's game and then upped the intensity of his runs Thursday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The veteran backstop continues to make notable inroads in his recovery, with the increase in activity level over the last two days extending a positive week-long trend. However, Wieters still continues to have some discomfort when trying to get a running start out of a stationary position, as is required when breaking out of the batter's box. Therefore, his return timetable remains somewhat murky for the moment.
Wieters (calf) will engage in a variety of baseball activities before Wednesday's game against the Rockies, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Wieters has already been hitting from both sides of the plate in the cage and doing light baseball activities such as throwing and getting into a catcher's stance, none of which have presented a problem. The veteran backstop is yet to try a running start out of the batter's box, where the calf's ability to push off is crucial. "We'll see how it goes," Wieters said. "I still have to pass the test of running. If I can't get out of the box, you're not really helping your team out too much anyway. But we'll see. We're at a point where we're not going to push it to put it at risk, but I definitely want to get out there as soon as I can."
Wieters (calf) progressed to running on the field prior to Friday's game, Jake Crouse of MLB.com reports.
It's another key step for Wieters, particularly since this latest activity directly involves the area of his injury. Manager Mike Shildt remains hopeful of having his veteran backstop back in action at some point during the current six-game road trip, but that remains firmly up in the air. "We're not going to push, clearly," Shildt said. "He was on the field today [doing] baseball activities. How he recovers tomorrow will be a big indicator, and then we'll kind of go from there."
Wieters (calf) is taking batting practice from both sides of the plate, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Wieters is reportedly making good progress from his left calf strain. Once the veteran backstop is able to do calf raises without discomfort, he'll be able to add to the baseball activities he's cleared to perform. Wieters remains without a firm timetable for return at the moment, although he is expected back before the conclusion of the regular season.
Wieters (calf) was sporting a boot on his left leg Monday and also received an anti-inflammatory shot earlier in the day, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Wieters suffered his calf strain while running the bases Saturday and doesn't have a firm timetable to return. The arrival of both Andrew Knizner and Joe Hudson from Triple-A Memphis helps cushion Wieters' absence for the moment. Wieters, who's been serviceable as Yadier Molina's backup this season, should be able to return well before the end of the regular season.
Wieters has a mild calf strain and is expected to be sidelined for a few days, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Wieters apparently suffered the injury during Saturday's doubleheader as he went 0-for-3 during the nightcap. Andrew Knizner and Joe Hudson joined the club as part of the September roster expansion and will provide catching depth behind Yadier Molina.
Wieters is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Brewers.
As anticipated, Wieters has transitioned back into a lightly used backup role following top backstop Yadier Molina's return from the injured list Aug. 13. Wieters will be on the bench for the seventh time in eight games and might not be in store for more than one start per week while the Cardinals remain in contention for both the NL Central title and a wild-card spot.
Wieters is not in Sunday's lineup against the Pirates.
He is hitting .246 with five home runs in 19 games since the All-Star break. Andrew Knizner will start behind the dish, hitting seventh. Yadier Molina (thumb) is expected to be activated from the injured list either Tuesday or Wednesday against the Royals.
Wieters is out of the lineup for Sunday's game at Oakland.
Wieters started the last five games and went 5-for-19 with one double, one home run, three RBI and eight strikeouts. Andrew Knizner will take over behind the plate and bat ninth Sunday.
Wieters went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run during Thursday's 8-0 win over the Cubs.
Wieters provided the biggest hit of the night in the sixth inning, launching a three-run home run to break the game open. He's been on a bit of a power surge of late, swatting four home runs in his last nine games overall. With Yadier Molina (thumb) progressing slowly, Wieters should continue to see regular playing time and will look to take advantage as he did in this one.
Wieters is not in Saturday's lineup against the Astros.
He is 4-for-17 with three home runs and four strikeouts over his last five games. Andrew Knizner will start behind the dish Saturday, hitting eighth.
Wieters went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Friday's 5-3 win over the Astros.
The veteran catcher has gone yard in three of his last five starts, and Wieters is now slashing .235/.291/.496 on the year with nine homers and 19 RBI. Yadier Molina (thumb) still has no timetable for his return, so Wieters will continue to split time behind the plate with Andrew Knizner, giving him modest fantasy appeal in deep two-catcher formats.
Wieters is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Pirates.
Wieters was behind the plate for the first two games of the series in Pittsburgh, so he's likely just receiving a breather Wednesday. Andrew Knizner will handle the catching duties, working in a battery with Adam Wainwright.
Wieters went 1-for-2 with a solo home run in a 6-5 victory against the Pirates on Monday.
The veteran catcher has a homer in each of his last two games and four in his past 11 contests. During that 11-game stretch, he's also batting .303. Wieters is limited because he doesn't play everyday, but he's displayed quite a bit of pop this year with a .252 ISO. He is batting .243 with eight home runs, 18 RBI, 12 runs and a steal in 103 at-bats this season.
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