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DJ LeMahieu lands on 10-day DL with sprained left thumb

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The Rockies announced ahead of Monday night’s game against the Padres that second baseman DJ LeMahieu has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Infielder Pat Valaika has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

LeMahieu, 29, is believed to have suffered the injury during one of his plate appearances against the Brewers on Sunday. He had been activated from the DL last week after recovering from a strained right hamstring, so it’s been a rough month for him.

In 143 trips to the plate this season, LeMahieu is batting .279/.350/.457 with five home runs and 13 RBI. Valaika and Daniel Castro are expected to handle second base while LeMahieu is out, as they did during his first DL stint.

Valaika, 25, has hit a disappointing .103/.175/.155 in 64 plate appearances in the majors this season. Castro hasn’t been any better, batting .143/.143/.143 in 21 PA.

Carlos Martínez to work out of Cardinals’ bullpen for rest of season

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When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.

GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”

Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.

The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.