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Much-discussed outfielder Randy Arozarena has been brought up by the Cardinals to join them Tuesday night in Kansas City, but it comes at the expense of losing veteran outfielder Jose Martinez to the injured list with a right AC joint sprain.

At the same time, the Cardinals also announced they were activating catcher Yadier Molina (right thumb tendon strain) from the injured list and optioning catcher Andrew Knizner to Class AAA Memphis.

Arozarena, a 24-year Cuban native, has batted .349 with 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases while playing both at Class AA Springfield and Class AAA Memphis this year.

At Memphis, Arozarena had reached base safely in 37 consecutive games, including hitting for the cycle, and he hit .368 with a .442 on-base percentage and .568 slugging percentage for the Redbirds.

General manager Michael Girsch said both Harrison Bader, who had been optioned to Memphis two weeks ago, and Arozarena were considered for the promotion.

Bader, who was hitting .195 for the Cardinals, hit two home runs in a game over the weekend and Girsch said, “Harrison’s had a good couple of games. But the whole thing was. . . to get him right and we didn’t want to interrupt the process.

“Randy has played so well, he deserves the opportunity. Both deserve to be up but right now we’ll go with Randy. I think he’ll get opportunities (to play)." 

Arozarena will wear uniform No. 66. He joins the club's 40-man roster with his purchase from Memphis. That roster had been at 39.

Martinez injured his shoulder when he banged into the wall chasing a fly ball on Sunday. He is hitting .266 with 10 homers and 40 runs batted in.

Girsch said it would be a few days before Martinez could swing a bat and “it didn’t make sense for Mike Shildt to play short for three or four days.” But Girsch said Martinez shouldn’t be out long.

“At, or shortly beyond 10 days would be our expectation,” he said. 

The 37-year-old Molina was placed on the IL on July 8 for the second time because of the thumb injury he first incurred in May. The nine-time All-Star and Rawlings Gold Glove winner was three for 20 with a home run in eight games during a rehabilitation stint at Memphis and Springfield.

With the Cardinals, he is batting .261 with four homers and 36 runs batted in. The Cardinals were 17-11 in his absence.


When the Cardinals get to the park on Tuesday, they won’t find Mark Budaska, the popular assistant hitting coach who had worked with many of the Cardinals’ young hitters in the minors. Budaska, 66, was dismissed Monday afternoon, said Girsch, because his philosophies didn’t really mesh with those of hitting coach Jeff Albert.

The Cardinals rank near the bottom of the National League this season in multiple offensive categories.

“It’s really a matter of we wanted a consistent voice for our hitters from our coaching staff and not having mixed messages,” Girsch. “There’s no blame.”

Jobel Jimenez, the hitting coach at Memphis, was promoted, just as Budaska had been last year when hitting coach John Mabry was fired.

“We felt we were better positioned to have a more uniformed voice for the players,” said Girsch. Jobel and Jeff will be a good mix together.” But the GM added, “The whole organization is accountable for how we’ve done offensively.”

Rick Hummel

@cmshhummel on Twitter

This article originally ran on Content Exchange