Option Paul DeJong to Triple-A
23-year-old Paul DeJong has been very good in his first taste of big-league action, reaching base in seven of his first 10 major-league games while collecting three extra-base hits (three more than Peralta has this season). With that said, there’s clearly room for improvement, as he’s struck out 11 times in 34 at-bats and hasn’t walked yet.
DeJong doesn’t stand to get much playing time at all once Wong comes back. Perhaps he’d occasionally spell Aledmys Díaz at shortstop, but it seems unlikely that the Cardinals would make the bold choice to bench the 2016 All-Star and install DeJong as the everyday guy at that position. Likewise, DeJong isn’t going to get many opportunities to fill in for the Cardinals’ best hitter, Jedd Gyorko, or Wong, who’s perhaps their best defensive infielder at this stage and has hit well this season.
While DeJong doesn’t project as an everyday starter in the majors, he’s raced through the minor leagues and had only 1,026 professional plate appearances over 244 games before getting called up late last month. It’d be a mistake to keep him on the major-league bench if he’s never going to play, and optioning him to Triple-A would probably be the most levelheaded decision in this situation.
There’s one thing the Cardinals could do to keep both Peralta and DeJong on the roster: