The Cardinals have placed second baseman Kolten Wong on the 10-day disabled list with a left elbow strain. His roster spot will go to infield prospect Paul DeJong, whose contract has been purchased from Triple-A.
After a down season last year in which he lost playing time at the keystone to Jedd Gyorko, Wong created a mini-controversy in March when he expressed unhappiness about being part of a timeshare at second base. The 26-year-old quickly walked back those comments, though, and he and Gyorko have managed to coexist this season. The power-hitting Gyorko has mainly played third base, leaving second to Wong, who has improved offensively this season. Wong has slashed .278/.378/.414 with 18 walks and 20 strikeouts in 157 plate appearances, but the normally adept defender hasn’t been as effective in the field as he has been at the plate (minus-two Defensive Runs Saved, minus-12.7 UZR/150).
With Wong on the shelf, Gyorko and Greg Garcia present the Cardinals’ most logical options to fill in at second. Those two, along with Jhonny Peralta and DeJong, also offer options at the hot corner. DeJong, 23, is only two years removed from going to the Cardinals in the fourth round of the draft. He now ranks as the Redbirds’ 11th-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, which classifies the potential shortstop’s power as “legitimate.” DeJong has shown off that power at Triple-A this year, having swatted 11 home runs and posted a .247 ISO in 182 trips to the plate. Overall, the righty-swinger has batted a strong .294/.331/.541, though his walk and strikeout rates (4.4 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively) could certainly stand to improve.