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Cards add 8 to roster, including Jose Martinez

@anne__rogers
September 1, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- The calendar couldn’t turn to September at a better time for the Cardinals, who are in the midst of back-to-back doubleheaders and play an afternoon game Monday. Along with activating outfielder Jose Martinez (right AC joint sprain) after he missed 18 games on the injured list, the

ST. LOUIS -- The calendar couldn’t turn to September at a better time for the Cardinals, who are in the midst of back-to-back doubleheaders and play an afternoon game Monday.

Along with activating outfielder Jose Martinez (right AC joint sprain) after he missed 18 games on the injured list, the Cardinals added seven other players to the active roster Sunday: first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo, pitchers Junior Fernandez, Michael Mayers, Genesis Cabrera and Daniel Ponce de Leon -- who will start the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader -- and catchers Andrew Knizner and Joe Hudson.

Hudson is the only one of the Cardinals' additions who hasn’t been to the Majors yet this year, and he was added to the 40-man roster with outfielder Lane Thomas (right wrist fracture) moved to the 60-day injured list. Hudson was Knizner’s backup in Triple-A, batting .223 in 60 games for the Redbirds. Hudson adds to the catching depth as Matt Wieters nurses a mild left calf strain.

After the Minor League season ends Monday night, two more Triple-A players will join the Cardinals on Tuesday: outfielder Randy Arozarena and infielder Edmundo Sosa. All of the September callups have helped Memphis to a 69-69 season as of Sunday, and after beating the Iowa Cubs on Saturday, the Redbirds have won 18 of their last 22 games and finished August with a 22-7 record.

As the Minor League season ends, here are four names from the Cardinals’ farm system this year to get to know:

Arrival: Giovanny Gallegos

With the way he has pitched this season, it’s hard to believe that Gallegos didn’t break camp with St. Louis in March. He arrived for good on April 16, and with each outing, he has earned more opportunities. Now, he’s a high-leverage reliever and the anchor of an effective Cardinals bullpen. His 2.05 ERA is the lowest in St. Louis' relief corps, and he’s yet to give up a hit when he comes in with the bases loaded (13 batters faced). He’s allowed an OBP of .217 -- the lowest of all qualified relievers in the Majors.

Breakout: Randy Arozarena

After batting .232 in Memphis when he was promoted last year, Arozarena found his swing in Triple-A this year and is batting .357 with two games to go for the Redbirds. Arozarena did all he could -- make contact, get on base, improve his defense -- to catch the Cardinals’ eye throughout the season, and he’ll have another chance to make an impact in September.

Something to prove: Alex Reyes

The Cardinals’ prized right-hander has been battered with injuries over the past three years. In 2017, it was Tommy John surgery. In 2018, he had surgery to repair a right lat tendon tear. And this year, he fractured his right pinky finger, which kept him out a month, before he strained his right pectoral muscle, which has kept him sidelined since June 23. It’s been another frustrating year, but the Cardinals’ former No. 1 prospect will look to bounce back mightily and stay healthy next year.

Name to watch: Dylan Carlson

The Cardinals’ first-round Draft pick from 2016 was promoted to Triple-A Memphis on Aug. 15 and has dominated the Pacific Coast League since. The 20-year-old switch-hitting outfielder is slashing .371/.426/.677 for the Redbirds with four home runs in 16 games. Carlson exploded onto the scene this year, rising to the No. 2 prospect in the organization and No. 49 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. For his work in Double-A this year -- career highs in almost every category, including average (.281), slugging (.518), home runs (21), hits (117) and OPS (.882) -- he earned Texas League Player of the Year, started the Texas League All-Star Game and played in the SiriusXM MLB Futures Game, where he had an RBI single. Carlson will play in the Arizona Fall League this fall, and he’ll be someone to keep an eye on in 2020.

Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.