Considering that Diaz isn’t expected to get back on the field until mid-September and will probably miss out on the opportunity to participate in a minor-league rehab assignment, it might not be the best idea to try to bring him back in the middle of a heated playoff race. With that said, the Cardinals did so with Matt Holliday and Randal Grichuk last season, so there’s reason to believe that they’ll do the same with Diaz, who was arguably the MVP of the club before suffering a thumb fracture in early August.
As we’ve seen with Jhonny Peralta this season, thumb injuries can hinder a player’s ability to swing the bat, so there’s no guarantee that Diaz will return to his prolific level of production during September, particularly if he doesn’t get the chance to face respectable pitching beforehand. The biggest concern with Diaz’s return will involve his defense, though, as he may be out of sorts a bit after taking nearly a month off from playing the field.
Next: Brayan Peña