Marti to Replace Mather in Arizona

Sore arm sidelines one outfield prospect, only to be replaced by another.

Due to what has been reported to be a sore elbow, outfielder-first baseman Joe Mather has been deactivated by the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. The replacement provided by the St. Louis Cardinals will be the Cuban émigré, outfielder Amaury Marti. He also played in the AFL in 2006, where he was named as a "Rising Star", and played in their corresponding All-Star game.

According to Cardinals Director of Minor League Operations John Vuch, Mather's injury is not considered serious and the move is strictly preemptive. "Mather has been having a bit of a problem with his right elbow, so he was shut down as more of a precautionary move. The MRI revealed nothing more than a strain, so he'll rest it for awhile and then begin rehabbing it. He's expected to be 100% well before the time he'd be reporting to spring training – it's one of those types of injuries where if it was a critical situation, he could probably play through it, but it made no sense to push things when it wasn't necessary," Vuch explained.

Mather, 25, appeared in six games for the Solar Sox, hitting .286 with an RBI and a stolen base. He split his time during the 2007 regular season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis where he delivered a .271/.357/.522 line (BA/OBP/SLG) combined. Mather is expected to be added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster this off-season to protect him from December's Rule 5 Draft.

Marti, generally believed to be 33 years old, was the Cardinals' 18th round draft pick in 2006. He had established US residency after leaving his homeland of Cuba. The powerful outfielder was loaned to Minititlan of the Mexican League this past summer before finishing the season with Springfield. He posted a .330/.399/.548 line across both stops.

Other Cardinals prospects competing in the AFL through mid-November are second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir, who missed time recently due to strep throat, first baseman Mark Hamilton, and pitchers Stuart Pomeranz, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs and Kyle McClellan.

Outfielder Colby Rasmus and closer Chris Perez are also in Arizona as members of Team USA. Their club will play a series of exhibitions against AFL clubs starting next week.

Check back here at stlcardinals.scout.com for first-hand reports from Arizona.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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