Monday Cardinals News Includes Martinez’ Return

photo: Jose Martinez (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

Jose Martinez is back with St. Louis and Marcell Ozuna is recognized for his hot hitting, among other Monday news items across the St. Louis Cardinals system.

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Proud Papa to Philly

On Monday, José Martínez returned to the St. Louis Cardinals. The first baseman missed all three games of the weekend Chicago Cubs series on Paternity Leave to attend the birth of his daughter Alana in his native Venezuela.

The right-handed hitter is back in his customary third spot in St. Louis’ batting order in Philadelphia on Monday night. The 29-year old leads the team in home runs (tied at 10), RBI (42), batting average (.321), OBP (.389), slugging (.517) and OPS (.906) and is second with 16 doubles.

In other words, Martinez was clearly missed as the Cards dropped two of three to the visitors from Chicago.

Luke Voit (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Voit knew

As expected, first baseman Luke Voit was optioned back to Triple-A Memphis after starting at first base on Friday and Sunday for St. Louis in Martinez’ place.

It was a rough series for the 27-year old as he went 0-for-7, including four strikeouts, but did draw one walk. In just 11 games for St. Louis this season, Voit is batting .182.

Voit will return to first base duties for the Triple-A Redbirds, where his season slash line is a sub-par .237/.348/.339/.687. The Memphis roster is back at its full size of 25 active players, including Rangel Ravelo, who also plays first as well as corner outfield.

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Ozuna recognized

Marcell Ozuna has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period of June 11-17. It is the first time in his career he has been honored and he is the first Cardinals honoree this season.

Ozuna batted .455 (10-for-22) with four home runs and eight RBI over six games, with a home run in three straight contests (June 13-16) and an RBI in seven straight games (June 9-16) during the run.

Even beyond this past week, Ozuna had been ramping up. The Cardinals left fielder has hit safely in 14-of-15 games this month with an RBI in 11-of-15 games.

Thomas St. Clair (Peoria Chiefs)

St. Clair tabbed

Reliever Thomas St. Clair has been promoted to Palm Beach to backfill for Austin Sexton, who was moved up to Springfield over the weekend to replace injured Estarlin Arias.

The only downside is that St. Clair will now have to miss the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday night. The 24-year old right-hander earned that berth and his promotion by crafting a 1.65 ERA over 32 2/3 innings in 20 games. St. Clair struck out 41 and walked 15 while holding MWL batters to a collective .118 average and saved all five opportunities presented.

The Chiefs roster is currently at 23 active players (during their All-Star break) with Palm Beach back at full strength.

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