The Cardinals have activated shortstop Aledmys Diaz from the 15-day disabled list, per a club announcement. Diaz went on the DL on Aug. 2 with a hairline fracture in his left thumb.
Before suffering the injury, the 26-year-old Diaz was in the midst of one of the majors’ best rookie seasons. The Cuba native burst on the scene with a .423/.453/.732 batting line and a measly four strikeouts in 75 April plate appearances, and while the opening month was high-water mark prior to fracturing his thumb, his steady play continued through July. On the whole, Diaz has batted .312/.376/.518 in 401 PAs, swatted 14 homers and posted an outstanding 13.5 percent strikeout rate. While Diaz’s work in the field has left plenty to be desired (16 errors, minus-8 Ultimate Zone Rating, minus-3 Defensive Runs Saved), his bat has made him an eminently valuable commodity – which no one expected when the Cardinals designated him for assignment in July 2015.
In theory, Diaz’s return should be a welcome one for the 75-66 Redbirds, who are a half-game up on the Mets for the second wild-card spot in the National League. However, the club’s middle infield actually fared well without him, as Jedd Gyorko, Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia have each enjoyed productive seasons. It’s unknown how manager Mike Matheny will deploy the group going forward. For now, Diaz isn’t in the Cardinals’ lineup against the Brewers on Sunday.
“Just being healthy isn’t necessarily the answer to everything right now,” Matheny said Saturday (via Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). “We also have to get his timing right, get him confident with how he feels at the plate.”