Matheny knows Cruz can deliver on defense

Matheny knows Cruz can deliver on defense

MILWAUKEE -- With Yadier Molina out for an extended period after injuring his right thumb, it may be tempting for teams to run on his replacement Tony Cruz. That doesn't worry manager Mike Matheny.

"I'm not that concerned because I know how good of a thrower Tony is," Matheny said.

The Brewers executed a double steal in the first inning of Friday night's game with Cruz behind the plate. Matheny said it had more to do with pitcher Joe Kelly's struggles on the mound than Cruz's ability to throw out runners.

"He had no chance. Joe was trying to fix what he needed on the mound, so the running game wasn't that much of a concern at that point. But when you give Tony Cruz a chance to throw somebody out, he's going to throw them out," he said.

Molina had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb he sustained on a feet-first slide into third base in the second inning of the Cardinals' 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Rich Rovito is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.