We haven’t heard much of Aledmys Diaz since his late June demotion. Let’s take a look at what he’s up to.
With the Paul DeJong craze that has taken place in St. Louis of the last two months or so, it’s easy to forget about the guy who started out at Shortstop for the Red Birds in 2017. Here’s a look into how Diaz is doing since his demotion.
On June 28th, Aledmys Diaz was demoted to Triple A Memphis. In 71 games with the Cardinals in 2017, Diaz was batting .260 with 7 home runs and 20 RBI. Although his defensive numbers did improve noticeably from 2016, the offense for which he was so valued declined to a more drastic degree, causing the demotion.
You might, however, be thinking that these stats just about halfway through the season should not be worthy of a demotion. Yes, it is true, that these numbers are nowhere near world beater status. However, a .260 average is not awful, and 7 homers and 20 RBI for a shortstop is not terrible unproductive.
But the Cardinals, 6 games under .500 at the time of Diaz’s demotion, yet in a tight division, were looking for a spark. And clearly they got one in the call up of Paul DeJong, who needs no further introduction, not in this article at least. DeJong’s prominence for the Cards has kept Diaz down in the minors since his demotion, with no signs of any change but a potential September call up.
Since being demoted, Diaz has shown little sign that he’s ready to contribute to a Cardinal’s club now in the heat of a pennant race. In just under 120 at bats, Diaz is batting just .237 with only 4 home runs and 20 RBI.
In his last 10 games, Diaz is just 5-for-35, and his average has dropped 50 percentage points over that span. Clearly, we are still working with a small sample size with Diaz, that 35 at bat could make such a difference in his 2017 Triple A batting average. And Diaz, in Memphis, has shown improvement defensively, fielding at a .981 clip at short so far, making just two errors in 209.1 innings.
Yet still, Diaz’s offensive numbers are indicative that he is not yet ready to contribute to the Cardinals, who, at start of play on Thursday, were just two games back of the division leading Cubs. Especially if DeJong continues to dominate the way he has the past 6-8 weeks, Diaz will have a tough time cracking the surface of the Big Leagues with the Cards in an appreciate way over the coming years.
Who knows what the future holds for Aledmys Diaz? I suppose that the best scenario for the Cardinals would be for Paul DeJong to continue performing at an All-Star level, while Diaz either gets time as a back-up infielder, or continues to improve in the minor leagues, enough so that he is able to draw a trade offer.
However, Diaz turned 27 just two weeks ago. This should be the prime of his career, in which case, he shouldn’t be wasting it improving his trade value in the minors or as a backup. But he hasn’t yet proven that he should be the every day guy.
The Cardinals have a tough decision approaching regarding Aledmys Diaz and his future. But who knows? Maybe DeJong is just this year’s Diaz. While that would be unfortunate, it is possible, and it would put Diaz right back into the fold at shortstop.