• After starting five straight games and six of seven since coming off the disabled list with a right knee sprain, Yadier Molina was out of the Cardinals' lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Braves. The Cards had indicated that they would be proactive in giving Molina days off during the catcher's first week back, but Mozeliak acknowledged that the organization has since "deviated from" that plan.
"I think with a player like him, he's going to have some say in whether he can go or not," Mozeliak said. "We welcome that type of feedback. In his case, the past few days have been fine for him, so from a medical standpoint, I don't see any restrictions."
• Left-hander Jaime Garcia said he is just days away from beginning his throwing program. Garcia underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder nearly three months ago. He has remained in St. Louis to do his rehab work and has recently begun to strengthen his arm with medicine ball exercises.
• Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Cardinals Minor Leaguer Yoenny Gonzalez has been suspended without pay for 50 games after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. MLB's announcement did not specify for which substance Gonzalez tested positive.
Gonzalez, an eighth-round pick out of Central Florida Community College in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, played 32 games with rookie-level Johnson City (Tenn.) this season. He batted .192 with four doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs. With less than 50 games remaining in the Minor League season, Gonzalez will finish serving his suspension in 2014.
• The Cardinals' four-game series against the Braves will showcase the two National League players currently leading the batting title race. Molina and Atlanta's Chris Johnson both entered Thursday with a .332 season average. Johnson, who has 131 hits in 394 at-bats, technically leads Molina when the two batting averages are carried out to the fifth decimal point. Molina is 10-for-27 since returning from the DL.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.