Diaz will avoid DL after taking foul ball to face

Cardinals rookie dealing with inflammation around right eye

Diaz will avoid DL after taking foul ball to face

KANSAS CITY -- Though he has the look of someone who just ducked out of a boxing ring, Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz will avoid the disabled list and should be back in the lineup as soon as the swelling around his right eye subsides.

Diaz said he felt fortunate the diagnosis wasn't worse after hitting a ball off home plate that then ricocheted to his face in Monday night's game against the Royals. The ball made its impact between his right eye and eyebrow, but X-rays performed at a local hospital on Monday night confirmed that Diaz did not sustain any fracture to his orbital bone. He also underwent a battery of concussion tests, all of which came back negative.

"Everything looks pretty good," Diaz said on Tuesday afternoon. "I don't feel pain at all. I just feel discomfort in my eye with the inflammation. I don't see very well right now, but thank God it's nothing worse."

The vision problems are the result of his right eye still being nearly swollen shut.

"We hope to see that go down quite a bit," manager Mike Matheny said. "Probably just as soon as we can get the swelling down he should be ready to go."

Because the Cardinals anticipate a short-term absence for Diaz, they have opted not to shift Jhonny Peralta back to the shortstop position for the interim. Rather, the Cardinals prefer that he continue to settle in at third base, his regular position alongside Diaz.

The Cardinals have Greg Garcia and Jedd Gyorko available to cover at short until Diaz is cleared to return. Garcia drew that starting assignment on Tuesday.

As for Diaz, he's likely ready to get out of Kansas City. While watching Tuesday's game, he was struck by another foul ball. This one, a laser into the Cardinals' dugout off the bat of Christian Colon, struck Diaz in the side/back area. He retreated to the clubhouse to be checked on by the medical staff, which cleared him of any additional injury.

WORTH NOTING
• Five players and the opposing manager were ejected from Monday's Triple-A Memphis' game, which was delayed in the fifth inning by a benches-clearing scuffle between Memphis and New Orleans.

According to a team official, tensions started to rise earlier in the game when Redbirds shortstop Matt Williams was brushed back by a pitch. At that time, players on the bench began to chirp at opposing starter Jose Urena, who responded by throwing his glove and motioning to the dugout. Both teams were issued warnings.

That tension then hit its boiling point in the fifth inning, when Redbirds outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker was hit by a Urena pitch after another buzzed him near the head. Hazelbaker charged the mound and a scuffle ensued. Three Memphis players -- Hazelbaker, Juan Gonzalez and Jose Martinez -- were ejected. No one on either club sustained an injury in the incident, nor have any suspensions been handed out yet.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.