Cardinals fire assistant hitting coach; make roster moves

The Cardinals announced the firing of assistant hitting coach Mark Budaska Monday afternoon. Jobel Jimenez, the hitting coach at Memphis was promoted for rest of the season.

Earlier in the day, the St. Louis Cardinals optioned catcher Andrew Knizner to their Triple-A Memphis affiliate following Sunday afternoon’s game with Pittsburgh.  Prior to Tuesday’s game at Kansas City, the Cardinals will activate catcher Yadier Molina from the 10-day Injured List (right thumb tendon strain), place outfielder José Martínez on the 10-day Injured List with a right AC joint sprain and select outfielder Randy Arozarena from Memphis.

Arozarena, 24, an international free agent out of Havana, Cuba, has played in 80 minor league games between Springfield (AA) and Memphis this season and has batted .349 with 10 home runs, 42 RBI, 23 doubles, three triples and has stolen 16 bases.  He was named the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month in June and July and became the third Memphis Redbirds player to ever hit for the cycle coming on June 26 against Oklahoma City.  Currently, Arozarena has reached base safely in his last 37 straight starts and is slashing .368/.442/.568 in 52 games at Memphis.  Arozarena has played in 319 career minor league games in the Cardinals organization.

Molina, 37, was placed on the Injured List on July 8 and has missed 28 Major League games, which including a minor league rehabilitation assignment to Memphis and Springfield.  The nine-time All-Star and Rawlings Gold Glove winner was 3-for-20 with a home run, six RBI in eight games during his rehab.  He was batting .261 with 4 HR and 36 RBI in 71 games when he was placed on the I.L.  The Cardinals went 17-11 in his absence.

Martínez, 31, was removed from Sunday afternoon’s game against Pittsburgh in the 5th inning after colliding with the right field wall in pursuit of a fly ball.  He was batting .266 with 10 HR and 40 RBI in 118 games this season.

Knizner, 24, played in 11 games since his most recent recall and hit safely in his last eight starts.

Arozarena will wear uniform No. 66.