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Arozarena in Cardinals-Mets spring training game

St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Randy Arozarena handles a single by New York Mets' Michael Conforto during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

KANSAS CITY — Much-discussed outfielder Randy Arozarena has been brought up by the Cardinals to join them Tuesday night, but it comes at the expense of losing veteran outfielder Jose Martinez to the injured. He has a sprained right shoulder.

At the same time Monday, 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. He has hit .368 with a .442 on-base percentage and .568 slugging percentage for the Redbirds.

Cardinals general manager Michael Girsch said 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.”

Cardinals President of baseball operations John Mozeliak spoke to Bader on Monday and reviewed the situation with him.

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 was injured 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 (manager) Mike Shildt to play short for three or four days.”

Girsch said Martinez shouldn’t be out long.

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

Molina, 37, 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 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.

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Rick Hummel is a Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.