The Cardinals will be without their All-Star shortstop for the foreseeable future.
As MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch first relayed on Monday evening, St. Louis Cardinals rookie All-Star shortstop Aledmys Diaz will be forced to go on the disabled list after suffering a hairline fracture in his right thumb. Diaz was hit with a 95 MPH Andrew Cashner fastball, and he was unable to escape without damage. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cards GM John Mozeliak says Diaz is expected to miss more than 15 days.
The Cardinals began prepping Jhonny Peralta, who had been their everyday shortstop before this season, to play shortstop during his rehab assignment with the rookie league GCL Cardinals on Sunday. He’ll return to be their starting shortstop on Tuesday in Cincinnati. Peralta may actually be a defensive upgrade at the position, though it remains to be seen if he’ll recover his form with the bat after dealing with a thumb injury of his own all season. Peralta his .221/.258/.416 in 120 plate appearances this season before going back on the DL on July 19.
The Cardinals could also give Greg Garcia some time at the position, and Jedd Gyorko–the team’s Opening Day shortstop–could be an emergency backup at the position if those two are unavailable. It remains to be seen as to how the Cardinals will align the rest of their infield; this development could mean at least a temporary move back to third base for Matt Carpenter, who’s also due to come off the DL soon, or it could mean that Gyorko sticks at third while Carpenter returns to play second base once again. Considering the Cardinals’ recent desire to get Kolten Wong in the lineup, it’s perhaps most likely that Carpenter will move back to third, with Wong getting more time at second.
Unfortunately, this probably ends Diaz’s campaign for NL Rookie of the Year. To this point, he’d been offensively prolific enough to put himself in the conversation along with the Dodgers’ Corey Seager and the Rockies’ Trevor Story, but now that he’s going to miss at least a few weeks’ worth of at-bats, one of those guys will probably take the crown.