Martinez was struck near his left temple by a foul ball during Friday's game against the Cubs, MLB.com reports. "He seemed to be OK, smiling," manager Mike Matheny said. "We came up here, and everybody seems to be under the impression that he's fine."
The ball shot quickly into the dugout and Martinez simply didn't have time to react. He was put into concussion protocol and passed his initial tests, but the team will continue to monitor Martinez at least through Saturday. Look for Martinez to slot back into the fourth outfielder role once cleared, with Stephen Piscotty (groin) on the disabled list.
Martinez will start in right field and bat eighth Saturday against the Pirates, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
With Stephen Piscotty (groin) landing on the DL, Martinez seems to have a window of opportunity to play at least semi-regularly in the Cardinals' outfield. He has fared reasonably well against both righties and lefties this season, slashing a combined .280/.321/.464 with five homers in 51 games. The 28-year-old has hit .324/.392/.483 in two seasons at the Triple-A level.
Martinez rejoins the major-league team while Randal Grichuk heads to the disabled list with a lower back strain. During 50 games with the Cardinals this season, Martinez has been more than just a serviceable outfielder, slashing .280/.321/.464 with five home runs and 17 RBI. He isn't a power hitter by any means and strikes out a decent amount (22.2 percent of all plate appearances), but the 28-year-old has been able to carve out a role for himself while he's with the team, and should be able to earn some time in the field over the course of the next couple weeks.
Martinez was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Friday.
This comes as a surprise, as the rookie outfielder has impressed in his part-time role to the tune of a .280/.321/.464 slash line. However, with the All-Star break coming up, he'll be able to return to the team shortly after the break and miss just a few games if the Cardinals so choose. They could opt to keep him in the minors to have him work on cutting down his strikeouts in a similar move to that of Randal Grichuk earlier in the season, but things should become clearer after the break. Dexter Fowler was activated from the DL to replace him on the roster.
Martinez went 2-for-4 with two runs in Wednesday's 9-6 loss to the Marlins.
The 28-year-old has continued to generate solid offensive production despite a part-time role, with Wednesday's effort bringing his season line to .281/.323/.471. Martinez has also provided some decent pop with 12 extra-base hits (six doubles, one triple, five home runs), and although his strikeout rate (22.1 percent) remains elevated compared to those he's typically posted in his minor-league stops, this season does represent his first extended exposure to major-league pitching.
|7/22/2017 vs Chi. Cubs|
|vs Chi. Cubs||6||2||0||.429||.500||.333|
|vs Vogelsong (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||R-Bristol White Sox||6||22||5||9||1||0||1||5||2||3||1||0||.458||.591||.409|
|2015||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||98||341||57||131||25||3||10||60||48||55||8||2||.461||.563||.384|
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