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Cardinals option Diaz, call up Mejia

Aledmys Diaz legs out an infield single against the Giants. (June 25, 2017)

The St. Louis Cardinals have optioned shortstop Aledmys Diaz to Memphis and purchased the contract of infielder Alex Mejia. In a related move, they also moved right handed pitcher Alex Reyes to the 60 day disabled list.

After a strong offensive rookie season last year, Diaz has experienced a sophomore slump posting just a .260/.293/.396 batting line with 7 home runs and an 81 OPS+ in 71 games. Last season he was second on the Cardinals with a 134 OPS+.

He is also struggling on defense, having posted a -3 defensive runs saved at shortstop last season, but already has a -9 defensive runs saved there this season in about 400 fewer innings.

And with the strong showing of Paul DeJong, hitting .319/.327/.617 with 4 home runs since returning to the big leagues, to go along with a +1 defensive runs saved at shortstop, Diaz’s playing time was at risk. So Diaz will be the latest Cardinal to get a mid-season trip to the minors to get his head, and bat, straight.

The infielder taking his place will be Alex Mejia. A former fourth round pick of the Cardinals in 2012, he becomes the sixth member of that Cardinals’ draft class to reach the Majors. He has hit .253/.309/.355 with 3 home runs and 18 doubles in 74 games this season between Memphis and Springfield and was recently named a Texas League All Star at shortstop, where he has played 68 of his 74 games.

Jon Doble has been writing about the St. Louis Cardinals since 2010. You can follow him on Twitter at @JonDobleRBD, find him as R27 at RedbirdTalk.com and you can hear him co-host The UCB Podcast every fourth Wednesday night of the month. Redbird Dugout is a member of the United Cardinal Bloggers.

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