Cardinals: Checking in on Paul DeJong with Triple-A Memphis
It’s been less than a week since he was optioned, but let’s check in on St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong with Triple-A Memphis.
It has been a little less than a week since the St. Louis Cardinals optioned Paul DeJong to Triple-A Memphis. It was a move that was a long time coming yet a difficult decision for an organization that placed its belief in the veteran shortstop bouncing back in 2022.
DeJong has played only three games in Triple-A, so it’s been a very small sample size, but the results have largely been the same. He’s hitting .154/.214/.231 with a .445 OPS and three RBI in 14 plate appearances.
It’s far too early to make any judgments from a three game sample size. This is more of a check in than anything. The Cardinals will have DeJong work with Triple-A coaches behind the scenes and implement changes in-game in a controlled environment with little pressure, something he didn’t have when he was on the major-league roster, and they are hopeful that it will produce results at some point.
It would be unfair to expect immediate results from DeJong, who has fought with his swing and mechanics for the better part of two years. It will take time and a lot of resources and the Cardinals are expected to give him every opportunity to win the major-league starting shortstop position back.
But with DeJong in Triple-A, and the Cardinals trying to do everything to win a World Series this season, all options are now on the table. That means exploring the trade market. That means moving Tommy Edman to shortstop and calling up Nolan Gorman to play second base. Manager Oli Marmol and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak can get creative in how they fill the shortstop position, both in the short- and long-term.
But they cannot operate under the assumption that DeJong will bounce back. It burned them in the first month of 2022, with their belief in DeJong costing them a chance at a historically deep free-agent shortstop class in 2021. And if they have the opportunity to add a difference-maker at the position, whether it be via trade or free agency, they can’t hesitate.
Meanwhile, DeJong will continue to work his way back to the majors, though it’s clear this will be an extended stint down in Triple-A.