The Cardinals have placed outfielder Jose Martinez on the 10-day injured list with a right AC joint sprain, selected the contract of outfielder Randy Arozarena from Triple-A Memphis, activated catcher Yadier Molina from the IL and optioned backstop Andrew Knizner, Anne Rogers of MLB.com tweets.
This has been a surprisingly underwhelming season for the 31-year-old Martinez, who has slashed just .266/.336/.401 (96 wRC+) with 10 home runs in 348 plate appearances. Martinez was far better over the previous two seasons, during which he hit .306/.369/.478 (129 wRC+) with 31 long balls across 897 PA.
The Cardinals will replace Martinez with Arozarena, a Cuba native who signed with the club for $1.25MM in 2016. Now 24 years old, Arozarena has hit a spectacular .368/.442/.562 (147 wRC+) with seven home runs and eight steals at the Triple-A level this season.
Not to be forgotten, Molina – one of the greatest Cardinals ever – is back after spending a month on the IL with a right thumb tendon strain. The 37-year-old’s thumb has bothered him since May, which is likely among the reasons he has batted a woeful .261/.286/.368 (70 wRC+) in 276 trips to the plate this season. Backup Matt Wieters has been a fine offensive substitute in Molina’s stead, though it has been a while since the former was an especially well-regarded defender.