The St. Louis Cardinals made a series late moves on Wednesday afternoon.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals sent some more shock waves through the organization. The team announced Aledmys Diaz, starting shortstop, is headed to triple-A Memphis. Other moves the team made on Wednesday include the purchase of INF Alex Mejia‘s contract and moving starting pitcher, Alex Reyes, to the 60-day DL.
While the latter two don’t bear much weight, optioning Diaz to Memphis certainly raises some eyebrows.
Aledmys Diaz surprised the baseball world last season with his performance on the diamond. The Cardinals’ shortstop batted .300 with seventeen home runs and sixty-five RBI. As a rookie, Diaz exceeded any expectations the St. Louis Cardinals had. However, this year has been a completely different story.
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The expectations were very high for Diaz entering the 2017 season. One question on everyone’s mind was whether Diaz would avoid the “sophomore slump.”
At first, the shortstop came out the gates fast. It felt as if Diaz would continue his rookie campaign. However, things started to derail fairly quickly for the young Cuban.
By the end of April, Diaz hit .217. At the end of May, he hit .258. As we approach the end of June, Diaz is hitting .260. His swing is not the same as last year. Last year, Diaz hit to all fields.
This year, Diaz has committed to a pull only approach. The approach has certainly caused some angst among Cardinal Nation.
His approach at the plate affected his OBP as well. Last year, Diaz had a OBP of .369. This year, Diaz’s OBP is all the way down to .293 so far. For a player projected to be the number two hitter, Diaz certainly under-performed any expectations. Check out his game logs for 2017 below.
To many, this move will come as no surprise. Given his recent struggles, and the comments made by St. Louis Cardinals GM, John Mozeliak, a move was bound to happen. Unfortunately, “El Cubano” has not lived up to the expectations this year and will need the extra reps in Memphis.
The St. Louis Cardinals needed to make a move. Even though Diaz’s demotion is temporary, it still sends a strong signal to others struggling. If Mozeliak continues to make moves, such as this, the team could be in a position to sell some pieces being called up.