Molina day to day with right quad injury

Molina day to day with right quad injury

Molina day to day with right quad injury
BOSTON -- Rays catcher Jose Molina did some great work in the six innings he was limited to Tuesday night because of a strained right quad.

Molina came up lame on his way down to first base in the sixth inning of a 5-2 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, after his hit helped plate two insurance runs for the Rays. He's day to day and is not expected to go for an MRI, said manager Joe Maddon.

"I really don't know," said Molina, who is hitting .325 in September. "I'll see tomorrow."

Maddon agreed, saying the club would just have to wait and see.

"It's just depends on how severe it is," Maddon said of the impact of a quad injury on a catcher. "Every time you bend over you're going to feel it. You squat you're going to feel it. Quads, it's kind of like the little brother to the hamstring. The hammy's the worst pull you're going to feel, the quad is probably the second worse. It's just there all the time -- but speed is not really a necessary part of his game. ... So if it becomes more functional that he could go behind the plate, take his at-bats, etc., I'm not worried about him stealing any more bases this year."

Molina was scheduled to sit Wednesday anyway.

Molina said he's dealt with a quad injury in his left leg before, but not his right. Besides the hit, Molina helped Tuesday's victory in two big ways. He told ace David Price to go away from the cutter, which led to a brilliant complete game against the Sox. The veteran backstop also threw out a would-be basestealer at third base in the third inning, just ahead of a double.

If Molina can't come back, the Rays would still be pleased with his effort. The goal had been to get him to 100 games played, and Tuesday was his 99th.

"If he could start around 80 games and participate in about at least 100, then you talk even about the wilder dream of having two-thirds of the games, possibly participating in that," Maddon said before his club's series opener with the Red Sox at Fenway Park. "But he's going to be close."

Part of the reason Molina's performance earlier in the year wasn't this strong is he wasn't fully healthy -- a fact he didn't entirely reveal. Molina has already hit a career-high eight home runs, but Maddon's most pleased with the way Molina has served as a receiver.

"We rested him a little bit during the beginning part of the year, a lot of back and forth with him and [Jose] Lobaton and [Chris] Gimenez. I think he's kind of fresh actually right now," Maddon said before the injury. "The weather's been good, he's been playing inside at our place, where the weather's always good. I think he's playing his best ball of the year right now."

Maddon acknowledged the criticism that Molina at times has blocked pitches poorly, but he thinks having the 37-year-old behind the dish has helped some strike calls go the Rays' way. His catchers' ERA this season entering Tuesday was 3.20.

"He matches up well [at the plate] against a lot of the pitchers that we're seeing," Maddon said. "He actually is better against righties as opposed to lefty pitchers. I like his [veteran leadership] behind the plate. I think he's been calling, catching and receiving well. I know there's a couple issues on a blocked ball now and then, but he gets a lot of close pitches called in our favor just because he receives the ball so well and he's throwing better."