The Cardinals are making some big roster moves before Tuesday’s series opener against the Royals. Yadier Molina is finally back with the team — and outfield prospect Randy Arozarena is joining the big league club for the first time.
St. Louis will activate Molina from the 10-day injured list, the team announced, after the veteran catcher missed more than a month with a right thumb tendon strain. The Cardinals are also calling up their No. 12 prospect Arozarena, who was raking at Triple-A Memphis.
Arozarena was hitting .368/.442/.562 with seven homers, eight stolen bases and a 1.004 OPS in 52 games at Memphis. In 80 Minor League games overall between Double-A Springfield and Memphis, the 24-year-old Cuban native was hitting .349/.435/.547 with 10 homers and 16 steals.
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In his last 10 games with the Redbirds, he was batting .371 (13-for-35) and was riding a 37-game on-base streak before Sunday’s game with 15 multi-hit games during that span. He became the third Redbird in franchise history to hit for the cycle on July 26 and accomplished the feat in his first four at-bats.
“He’s done a lot of what he needs to do offensively,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said on Friday. “He’s got a really high OPS. … Defensively, he’s capable, we’ve seen that. There’s nothing else he really needs to be able to prove. “
Arozarena will wear No. 66 and fills the last spot on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.
But Arozarena’s callup comes with some bad news — he’s replacing Jose Martinez, who will be placed on the 10-day IL with a right shoulder AC joint sprain. Martinez hurt his shoulder in Sunday’s game when he bumped into the outfield wall making a catch on Elias Diaz’s deep fly ball. He exited the game in the top of the fifth inning.