Shortstop filling in well with Cardinals handling injuries
By Joe Harris
Special to MLB.com |
ST. LOUIS -- If Aledmys Diaz is worried about his future, it hasn't shown in his play.
Diaz went 2-for-5 including a three-run home run in the Cardinals' 14-3 whipping of the Reds on Friday. Diaz added to his impressive start by going 2-for-5 on Saturday in St. Louis' 9-8 loss. The 25-year-old shortstop is hitting .406 with two homers and eight RBIs through his first nine games in the Majors.
Diaz was called up from Triple-A Memphis on April 5 after outfielder Tommy Pham strained his left oblique on Opening Day. But with Ruben Tejada currently in a rehab stint with Double-A Springfield, his status with the Cardinals this season isn't clear.
"We always encourage our guys not to overthink any potential roster moves," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "With Diaz, the same thing, just keep playing the game. Don't start playing junior GM and try to figure out what the next move is going to be. Just continue to play a good shortstop, take your good at-bats, and trust the fact we're going to do the right thing our club needs us to do when that time comes."
Diaz was sent to Minor League camp when the Cardinals signed Tejada during Spring Training. He said he's happy Tejada, who was dealing with a strained quad, is healthy.
"He's a really good guy, he can help us, and I'm happy that he's ready to play," Diaz said. "I just go out and do my best for the team. I'm not concerned about nothing. I just play 100 percent and help my team to win."
In 2012, Diaz defected from Cuba while playing for the national team in the Netherlands. He didn't play in 2013 and was slowed by a shoulder injury after the Cardinals signed him as a free agent in 2014.
Diaz finally found his groove in August, batting .359 with six home runs and 19 RBIs between Springfield and Memphis and he was named the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month.
"I'm very happy with the results, but you have to keep working," Diaz said. "The tough thing here is keep hitting and keep playing well. I don't focus too much on the result. I just keep working on the process and trust in the process."
Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.