St. Louis Cardinals: Aledmys Diaz close to rejoining the team

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 26: Aledmys Diaz
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 26: Aledmys Diaz /

Early Tuesday, St. Louis Cardinals’ General Manager Mike Girsch made some interesting comments about the team’s roster.

St. Louis Cardinals General Manager Mike Girsch announced, on the Bernie Miklasz Show, Aledmys Diaz would rejoin the team “over the next couple of days.” Diaz, who was demoted to Memphis after a horrendous start to the season, will rejoin a St. Louis team clinging to their playoff lives.

Thanks to expanded rosters, the St. Louis Cardinals do not have to do too much in order to bring Diaz up to the team. If you’re like me, you’ve kind of forgotten about Diaz thanks to the rise of Paul DeJong. However, Diaz’s return to the lineup offers a little more flexibility in terms of utility infielders.

The St. Louis Cardinals demoted Aledmys Diaz on June 28th to Memphis just after seventy-one games with the big league club. Diaz’s struggles at the plate and on the field were the main factors in his demotion. Coming off a 2016 campaign, where he hit .300 with seventeen home runs and sixty-five RBI, Diaz looked poised to have a promising sophomore campaign.

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Unfortunately, things did not work out for Diaz in 2017. In seventy-one games, the Cuban infielder hit .260 with a OBP and SLG of .293 and .396 respectively.

Throughout the season, many of Diaz’s hits were infield singles, causing fans to notice his incapability to drive the ball this year.

Defensively, it was more of the same for the St. Louis Cardinals infielder. Diaz’s lateral movement and inability to make plays caused doubts in whether he could play shortstop.

According to Fangraphs, Diaz amassed a -1.2 UZR rating while starting sixty-eight games at short in 2017. Comparing that to 2016 (-8.4), Diaz was going to come up short on our expectations anyway. I think that’s possibly why the Cardinals entertained the idea of seeing him play left field for a couple of games.

However, lets forget about the past and take a look at what he has done since being demoted. Probably to no one’s surprise, Diaz hasn’t exactly done better in Memphis. Since his demotion, Diaz has hit .253 with a OBP and SLG of .305 and .388. Not much better, right?

The only positive thing that I can see out of this is his OBP. While it’s not the greatest in the world, there seems to be a small improvement in his ability to get on base. However, until we see him in game again, there will still be doubts as to how he has changed his game for the better.

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Once Diaz arrives with the team, the question then becomes what to do with him. If the St. Louis Cardinals are seriously considering using him in some capacity, I think it should probably be as a platoon only strategy.