While Peralta is Gone for Awhile, Cardinals Fans Should Have Confidence in Diaz to Take Over the Reigns
Before we get going with this piece, I would like to warn you that this article has a lot to do with the way I perceived Aledmys Diaz‘s game in person last Saturday, and a little bit less statistically based.
Alright, Cardinals fans need to be excited that the team has a great option to replace Jhonny Peralta within the organization. Many of us have been worried that the Cardinals would have to make another trade for a last-minute option, but Diaz has impressed so far in the Grapefruit League.
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) March 9, 2016
First off, I have been very impressed by the response that Diaz has displayed since Peralta went down with his thumb injury. Instead of backing down to a former All-Star in Jedd Gyorko, Diaz has quickly risen to the occasion. Many Cardinals fans, including myself, immediately looked to Gyorko and did not give Diaz much of a chance, but Diaz kept his head up and went to work despite being publicly overlooked.
Diaz is hitting .286 in Spring Training so far, with four RBIs and one stolen base. Additionally, since Peralta’s injury was officially announced, Diaz is hitting .375 (6 for 16) with three of his four RBIs and two doubles. This is not some vast change in performance, but it is enough of a boost for now.
Next, I would definitely say that Diaz has met the eye test. In my experience this past weekend, the Cardinals youngster looked cool, calm, and collected at the plate. While other hitters seemed a little bit lethargic on a calm Saturday afternoon, Diaz was locked in from first pitch. In this game, the Astros were pitching a perfect game vs. the Redbirds until making an error in the 5th inning. Then, just as any clutch hitter would do, Diaz capitalized on Houston’s mistake with a double down the line, putting the Cardinals on the scoreboard.
All in all, I would strongly urge the rest of St. Louis and all other Cardinals fans to get behind Diaz in his attempt to claim Peralta’s spot in the infield. This guy is bringing it every day in Spring Training, working to improve his game and impress his coaches. Rather than worrying about the future, Cardinals fans should display confidence in their young players and get excited that Diaz is working his butt off to take control of a difficult position in the infield.