It's a shame that Aledmys Diaz missed over a month courtesy of a fractured thumb, as St. Louis' under-the-radar rookie was in the midst of a phenomenal debut season. Despite dealing with the thumb injury, he still finished the year with an outstanding .300/.369/.510 line to go with 17 home runs and 65 RBI. Unfortunately, his defensive display was subpar and led to a .961 fielding percentage and 2.7 WAR. Diaz is fully expected to keep the title of starting shortstop, and with better health, should blow past his total of 111 games from a year ago. Prospective owners will want to be aware of the inherent risk that follows Diaz; due to him entering the league with little pedigree, the danger that he regresses during his sophomore season is more prevalent than with more proven prospects. However, if he continues to produce at a rate close to that from 2016, Diaz should finish inside the top 15 at the position.
Diaz went 2-for-4 with a double in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Pirates. The rookie standout continues to wield a hot bat, with Saturday's production representing his third straight game with a hit and second multi-hit effort over that span. Diaz slumped overall in September but has turned in a 2016 campaign that exceeded expectations, parlaying Jhonny Peralta's spring training thumb injury into an opportunity that has led to a stellar .303/.371/.515 line over 400 at-bats.
Diaz (personal) is back in the lineup Tuesday against the Reds. Diaz was away from the team for one game, but he'll re-enter the lineup now that he's back in town. The 26-year-old will take over at shortstop and bat seventh in the Cardinals batting order.
Diaz is away from the team to be with his family in Miami, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Diaz was good friends with Jose Fernandez growing up, so he left for Miami to offer consolation to his family.
Diaz is not in the lineup Monday against the Reds. Since returning from the disabled list earlier in the month, Diaz has been played a bit less than before the injury, which could be in part to ease his thumb back into action, but could also be impacted by his .172 batting average since coming back. Jedd Gyorko will take over at shortstop in his stead.
Diaz is out of the lineup Sunday against the Cubs. Diaz returned from a fractured thumb about two weeks ago and has seen his workload limited a bit while he reintegrates himself. He'll sit out for the third time in five games, giving way to Jedd Gyorko at shortstop.