The Cardinals have activated shortstop Paul DeJong from the injured list,as first reported by Anne Rogers of MLB.com (Twitter link). DeJong was one of seven players in the organization who tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks back, but he’s fortunately returned to health and playing shape in short order. Right-hander Seth Elledge was optioned out to clear active roster space.
Ultimately, the Cards’ shortstop missed just eleven of the team’s games, although that’s largely a reflection of the club’s sixteen-day absence that stemmed from the outbreak. The sturdy DeJong has coupled league average offense with strong defensive metrics in recent years, settling in as an above-average everyday option. Tommy Edman picked up the bulk of shortstop work in DeJong’s absence, but he’s now free to return to a utility role.
More broadly, the Cardinals’ shutdown has placed the front office in something of an awkward position with the trade deadline just eight days away. As president of baseball operations John Mozeliak explained to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the club has an even smaller sample than most teams on which to self-assess.
From the outside, that seems it could be particularly tricky for St. Louis, which has solid players across the roster but few star-level performers beyond first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and ace Jack Flaherty. Barring a collapse in the next week, it’d be a surprise if St. Louis weren’t approaching deadline season with a buyer’s mentality. It’ll be fascinating to see how Mozeliak and the rest of the front office approach a deadline with far less information than any other.