The St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday activated catcher Brayan Pena and designated catcher Eric Fryer for assignment.
Pena, 34, has been out since knee surgery at the end of spring training. Fryer, 30, hit .368 (1-for-38) with five RBIs in 24 games with the Cardinals, backing up Yadier Molina.
Pena hit .192 (10-for-52) in a minor-league injury rehabilitation assignment at Class AAA Memphis and Class AA Springfield. He caught nine games and played first base in two other games.
He has a career .260 batting mark with 23 home runs and 164 RBIs with Atlanta (2005-08), Kansas City (2009-12), Detroit (2013) and Cincinnati (2014-15).
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He was signed in the offseason to back up Molina and give him occasional spells behind the plate.
With the injury to Pena — he slipped on a wet dugout step at a spring training game, injuring his knee and requiring surgery — Molina has likely played more often than the Cardinals hoped he would in the early going this year.
Returning from a left thumb injury that curtailed his 23015 season, Molina has played in 71 of the 75 games for the Cardinals this year. He is hitting .266 with one home run and 25 RBIs.
Pena, wearing No. 33, was in uniform for the Cardinals’ road-trip finale at Kansas City on Tuesday.