Cardinals designate Jhonny Peralta for assignment, make coaching changes

St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced a series of coaching changes and player reassignments Friday.

Veteran third baseman Jhonny Peralta has been designated for assignment, and third-base coach Chris Maloney has been reassigned within the organization. Mike Shildt will take over for Maloney.

Back spasms sideline Molina vs. Phillies

Eric Fryer replaced Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in the starting lineup Friday night as Molina’s dealing with back spasms.

In addition, assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller will take a leave of absence, and Ron “Pop” Warner and Mark Budaska have been reassigned from the minor leagues to the coaching staff.

The Cardinals completed an 0-7 trip before returning to St. Louis to open a homestand Friday.

“This is not how we envisioned things,” Mozeliak said. “The season has not gone like we had hoped.”

Mozeliak also announced that second baseman Kolten Wong has been activated from the disabled list.

Wong had been sidelined since aggravating an elbow injury on May 26. He is hitting .278 with 16 RBIs.

Peralta, in the final year of his contract, was batting .204 with no RBIs or extra-base hits in 54 at-bats this season.

The Cardinals are hoping to score more after averaging a paltry 2.75 runs per game in June. Overall, manager Mike Matheny’s club was second-to-last in the NL in runs going into the weekend.

“This is all a direct result of how we’ve been playing,” third baseman Jedd Gyorko said. “We’ve got to play better. If we’re 10 games over .500 and in first place, these changes aren’t going to happen. We’re not where we want to be but we know we can turn it around.”

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.