St. Louis Cardinals: Paul DeJong on his way back is great news

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 02: Paul DeJong /

The St. Louis Cardinals got great news during batting practice prior to the game on Friday night as their starting short stop took one more gigantic stride forward to his return.

Paul DeJong shined in Friday’s batting practice prior to the St. Louis Cardinals‘ second game in Milwaukee. This gigantic step was Paul’s success hitting during practice against Mike Matheny (Matheny was pitching to him); success in the way of several home runs and no pain.

DeJong has been out for a while recovering from his broken left hand. DeJong’s father shared with me how much missing play affects Paul and said that he knows that Paul will do all that he can to get back out there playing. That step took one leap forward on Friday.

Related Story: An interview with DeJong's father

Recent news on DeJong was that he was healing well and had even taken fielding practice and was hitting from the tee. He reported no pain after these experiments which lead to tonight’s batting practice.

I find it very interesting that Matheny pitched to DeJong rather than watching him from behind the plate. This is interesting in regard to the trust factor that this portrays for DeJong: Matheny- it would seem- was less interested in Paul’s approach and more interested in how he felt after.

Ready for this? DeJong took Matheny deep not just once, but twice. As a matter of fact, on his last pitch, DeJong planted the pitch from the St. Louis Cardinals manager far out into stands above a sign in Milwaukee’s stadium. This smash was a no-doubter.

The question then turned to whether Paul felt good during and after the session. From all reports, he did. This means that should he feel well tomorrow that the St. Louis Cardinals could initiate a rehab assignment.

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It would not surprise me to see DeJong return to Memphis for his rehab or Springfield (for proximity purposes). The St. Louis Cardinals need DeJong, his bat, and his defensive play back in the everyday lineup.

In DeJong’s absence, Yairo Munoz has held down the SS spot. In that time, while not overpowering at the plate, Munoz has collected hits when they mattered but nothing to the like of DeJong. Defensively, Munoz has committed far too many errors while filling in for DeJong. In his 24 games started, Munoz has committed eight errors.

For those keeping score at home, DeJong had committed three errors in the 39 games he started in 2018.

Today’s report of Paul’s work during the St. Louis Cardinals’ batting practice is welcomed good news at a time when the Cards haven’t fared well. Perhaps the return of the young short stop who sits comfortably with his extension will be precisely what this club needs.

Next: Replacements for Matheny

Hurry back, Paul. We are all wishing you well.