St. Louis Cardinals: Fowler activated, Martinez optioned

MIAMI, FL - MAY 10: Dexter Fowler
MIAMI, FL - MAY 10: Dexter Fowler /

In the first move, in what could be quite a few, the St. Louis Cardinals get a bat back in their lineup just before the break.

This afternoon the St. Louis Cardinals activated Dexter Fowler from the 10-day DL. In a corresponding move, the team optioned Jose Martinez. This is the first in a potential series of moves that will lead to tough decisions in the coming days.

Fowler returns to the team after a stint on the DL due to a heel injury. This injury plagued Fowler in the past and is something to monitor going forward this year. In his return, Fowler will bat third and play center field.

Jose Martinez became the victim of Fowler’s return today. In a not surprising move to most, Martinez saw his at-bats begin to dwindle. The decrease in playing time for Martinez has a lot to do with the team’s commitment to Randal Grichuk and the increased success of Tommy Pham.

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Martinez burst onto the scene when he beat out Tommy Pham for the fourth outfielder spot in spring training. A surprise to some, as Pham had made a name for himself in St. Louis the previous season. In 125 at bats, Martinez posted a .280 average to go with five home runs and 17 RBIs.

Barring an injury, it seems unlikely Martinez would return to St. Louis anytime soon.

Unless management decides that Grichuk has had enough opportunities, and they decide to part ways, Martinez will have to cool his heels in Memphis.

This is the first of a few questions this team will have to face in the coming days. With Fowler returning to the lineup, does that mean Pham will return to manning left field when he is in the game? Or will the team decide to slide their off-season prize away from his desired position?

Whatever the team decides to do, it is great to get Fowler back. The team has been able to find success as of late and adding what was a hot bat before his injury can’t hurt. The Cardinals will play the first game of a three game series against the New York Mets tonight with Carlos Martinez on the hill against Jacob Degrom.