BOSTON -- Seeing his path back to the Majors as a shortstop blocked by Paul DeJong, Aledmys Diaz decided it best to try and carve out a new one.Diaz recently requested of the Cardinals an opportunity to tap into the versatility that he hadn't needed since his days playing in
BOSTON -- Seeing his path back to the Majors as a shortstop blocked by Paul DeJong, Aledmys Diaz decided it best to try and carve out a new one.
Diaz recently requested of the Cardinals an opportunity to tap into the versatility that he hadn't needed since his days playing in Cuba. The Cardinals agreed, and they will now have Diaz split his time among second, third and short. Diaz has started at third for Triple-A Memphis each of the past three days.
"I think versatility for most players is valuable," said Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. "Now that he's been down there awhile and adjusting to it, [we] thought it was time to create some flexibility for him."
After opening the season as the Cardinals' starting shortstop, Diaz was optioned to Triple-A on June 28. The decision was made largely because of Diaz's eroding plate discipline and growing tendency to pull the ball too frequently.
Since the demotion, Diaz has hit .252/.292/.396 with a .688 OPS. Meanwhile, up in the big leagues, DeJong has entrenched himself as the everyday shortstop. His 18 home runs in 65 games lead the team.
Division champs ... already
With 21 games remaining on its schedule, Memphis secured its spot in next month's Pacific Coast League playoffs by clinching the American Southern Division title on Sunday. The Redbirds entered Tuesday leading their division by 23 1/2 games. Only two other teams -- the 1970 Spokane Indians and 1981 Albuquerque Dukes -- have won their division by more than 20 games since the PCL established divisions in 1963.
Memphis currently sits 40 games above .500, and with two more wins, it will tie the 2000 club for the most (83) in franchise history. The Redbirds last won a PCL Championship in 2009.
• Lefty Kevin Siegrist, who was placed on the disabled list with a left forearm strain on Aug. 4, threw a bullpen session back at Busch Stadium on Tuesday and is expected to repeat that exercise again on Thursday or Friday. Mozeliak said the club will determine after that second session whether a rehab assignment will be needed before Siegrist comes off the DL.
• Third baseman Jedd Gyorko returned to the field Tuesday after going through pregame work and batting practice without feeling the right knee irritation that kept him out of the lineup last weekend.
• Adam Wainwright, who felt discomfort on the outside of his throwing arm during his last start, played catch on flat ground without issue on Tuesday. He remains on schedule to start Thursday.
• While the Cardinals have not traditionally crowded their clubhouse with September callups, Mozeliak acknowledged that this year there could be a larger number players of summoned due to the number of deserving candidates. Discussions regarding who could be in that group are ongoing.
• Quiet at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Cardinals have thus far not engaged in any August trade activity either. Asked about the possibility of still adding a piece before the end of the month, Mozeliak responded: "We're always going to be looking at ways to try and improve this team. Clearly the health of this team, the way we're playing, the energy you've seen over the last couple of weeks is great. If there is something we can do between now and the end of August to help make that better, we should pursue that."
• The Cardinals' home game against the Pirates on Sept. 9 has been picked up by FOX as its national broadcast and now has a scheduled start time of 6:15 p.m. CT.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.