ST. LOUIS -- In an effort to help himself gain an edge defensively, Aledmys Diaz, for about the last month, has been testing out wearable technology that has previously helped NBA player Stephen Curry with his shooting and Bryce Harper with his hitting.Several times a week, Diaz dons a pair
ST. LOUIS -- In an effort to help himself gain an edge defensively, Aledmys Diaz, for about the last month, has been testing out wearable technology that has previously helped NBA player Stephen Curry with his shooting and Bryce Harper with his hitting.
Several times a week, Diaz dons a pair of strobe glasses when he takes his place on the infield for pregame work. The glasses, which were introduced to him by first-base/infield coach Oliver Marmol, have the capability of taking visual information away from an athlete at varied increments in order to increase focus and decrease panic during activity.
Marmol begins by taking away 10 percent of the visual information and then changes that percentage based upon the difficulty of the drill and the proficiency of the athlete.
"If we can train our athletes to be comfortable in that panic situation and navigate back to a normal state where they can make good decisions, then the practice that we do here transfers that much better to a game," Marmol explained. "The feedback we get the most is it feels like everything slows down."
So far, Diaz is the only Cardinals player who has chosen to utilize the device.
"I have to focus more on the ball, pay more attention to detail," Diaz said. "Sometimes it's about reaction. You see the ball in one place and then the vision changes and you see it in another place.
"I think it's helped me a lot. It builds confidence that I'm working on the defense side, and then when I go into the game, I can just react. I think that's one thing that has helped me. I know I'm putting in the effort and working on my defense every day."
The Cardinals were without three of their usual starting position players -- Yadier Molina, Stephen Piscotty and Diaz -- on Saturday, as each is dealing with a nagging minor injury.
Molina, who has now been out of the lineup for consecutive days, continues to nurse a contusion on his left knee, where he was hit by a foul tip on Thursday. Diaz jammed his thumb in his final at-bat Friday, and Piscotty has been bothered by a bit of forearm tightness.
Manager Mike Matheny said he expects that all three would be available to pinch-hit on Saturday. Since the club is playing with a four-man bench, it's likely at least one will be needed.
The Cardinals did plug William Fowler back into the lineup after he sat out for two days due to left quad tightness.
• Double-A Springfield had five players selected for the upcoming Texas League All-Star Game. Springfield will be represented in Tuesday's game by outfielder Oscar Mercado, shortstop Alex Mejia, right-hander Jack Flaherty (Cards' No. 5 prospect), right-hander Dakota Hudson (No. 9) and right-hander Matt Pearce.
• With the aid of a 21-3 stretch that began in mid-May, the Cardinals' Class A Advanced affiliate in Palm Beach secured the Florida State League's first-half South Division title. That assures Palm Beach a spot in the FSL playoffs.
• Sidelined for 11 days due to back stiffness, Luke Weaver (No. 3) returned to the mound and threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Memphis on Friday. Because of the layoff, Weaver was limited to 75 pitches. He allowed one hit, two walks and struck out three.
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.