The Cardinals have placed shortstop Aledmys Diaz on the 15-day disabled list with a hairline fracture in his left thumb that was suffered on Sunday when he was hit by a pitch, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. “And it will likely be longer [than 15 days],” general manager John Mozeliak made when announcing the move.
As Goold writes, initial X-rays revealed only a deep bone bruise, but the fracture was revealed upon further testing after the swelling in his hand had reduced. While the Cardinals had the diagnosis prior to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, Mozeliak explained to Goold that the didn’t feel pressured to dive into the trade market in search of infield depth due to the fact that Jhonny Peralta will return from the DL tonight and Matt Carpenter will return by Friday. “You’re not going to go out and find that kind of impact player and the fact that we get Jhonny Peralta activated (Tuesday) I think he can slide in right there,” said Mozeliak. “…I think we’re covered. Trying to find a middle infielder that would have had some type of impact on this roster — I think it would be hard to top.”
The Cardinals entered the year expecting to utilize Kolten Wong at second base, Peralta at shortstop and Carpenter at third base. However, a Spring Training thumb injury sidelined Peralta into June, giving Diaz a chance to establish himself in the Majors. His performance was strong enough (and Wong’s struggles were great enough) that upon Peralta’s return to health, he played third base, with Carpenter displacing Wong at second base. Now, with both Carpenter and Peralta both returning from DL stints of their own, Peralta will man shortstop while Carpenter reclaims his original spot at third base, for the time being.
Suffice it to say, the Cardinals have plenty of depth in the infield to cushion the blow of losing Diaz for a fairly sizable portion of the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, it’s a notable loss, as Diaz has been nothing short of sensational at the plate, hitting .312/.376/.518 with 14 home runs in 401 plate appearances. His defense leaves plenty to be desired (16 errors, -8 UZR, -3 DRS), but Diaz’s bat has played a major role in the Cardinals’ 56-49 record, which currently has them just a half game out of the second Wild Card spot in the National League.