One St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Has a Legit Shot to Stick
The St. Louis Cardinals 40-man roster grew to 36 today, as the club announced three additions, all of whom just finished playing in the Arizona Fall League, but you already knew that given Steven McNeil’s AFL coverage:
The most intriguing of the three is probably Diaz, a Cuban shortstop who hit .278 with 13 homers and 52 RBI in 116 games he split between double- and triple-A. The St. Louis Cardinals then challenged him with an assignment to the Fall League, which ended its regular season earlier this week.
Diaz hit .309 with 4 homers, 14 RBI and 16 runs scored, all of which made him one of the most productive hitters in the Surprise Saguaros lineup that also included Tilson and Cardinals’ prospects . He also showed some flash
Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
with the glove. Now, Diaz will get another audition with manager Mike Matheny and the Major League staff in Jupiter next March.
That should be interesting, given incumbent Jhonny Peralta‘s 2015 season. The veteran had one good month and faded badly down the stretch and in the postseason. Behold, his slash lines per month:
- April: .316/.356/.468
- May: .306/.385/.556
- June: .274/.320/.400
- July: .262/.316/.421
- August: .242/.309/.303
- September/October: .253/.317/.308
Lance Lynn has taught me to give players the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Peralta played with an injury no one knew about. That said, he left a nice, big crack in the door for a youngster like Diaz. The likeliest scenario is that the St. Louis Cardinals add a veteran middle infielder and send Diaz back to Memphis for more seasoning, regardless of how he plays in Spring Training.
Here is a short list of possible veteran infielders the St. Louis Cardinals could sign as a stopgap until they feel Diaz is ready. (Warning: it will not knock your socks off …)
- Clint Barmes
- Stephen Drew (which would be really entertaining given his brother’s history with St. Louis)
- Jimmy Rollins
- Alexei Ramirez
Kiekhefer may be the one with the best chance to stick right out of camp. Not because he’s some high-ceiling super prospect. He’s a pitcher, and a lefthanded relief pitcher at that. We might be looking at the St. Louis Cardinals’ next left-handed specialist here.
Kiekhefer made 50 appearances at Memphis last year, posting a 2.41 ERA and giving up just 7 walks in 59.2 innings. Not bad. He put up a 2.93 ERA in the Fall League, saving a pair of games, striking out 14 and walking just one in 15.1 innings of work. I, for one, love his chances.