Much like teammate Randal Grichuk, Diaz was unexpectedly sent to Memphis, although the latter's serviceable .260/.293/.396 line at the time made his demotion even more surprising. At the time, the Cuban shortstop was struggling with pitch selection and dealing with thumb and ankle ailments, which certainly may have played a part in his struggles. Budaska, who also worked with Grichuk during his Redbirds tenure in late May and early June, has been focusing on helping Diaz improve his plate discipline and pitch recognition. While his numbers thus far haven't exactly validated the amount of work the two have put in, Diaz did post a pair of multi-hit efforts over his most recent three games before leaving the team until next Friday to tend to a personal matter.
Diaz is slashing .188/.182/.375 over his first seven games with Triple-A Memphis.
The 26-year-old shortstop has provided some pop in the form of three doubles, a homer and seven RBI, but he's otherwise struggled and has yet to draw a walk. Diaz was somewhat surprisingly sent down to Memphis on June 28 despite a respectable .260 average with the big-league club, with the goal presumably being to have him make a few adjustments at the plate and return as a more effective hitter. A similar approach seems to have worked wonders for outfielder Randal Grichuk, but Diaz actually seems to have regressed in the early going of his minor-league stint.
Diaz started the past 13 games before hitting the bench for Tuesday's contest. After another day out of the lineup for Wednesday's contest, the team announced that Diaz would be optioned to Triple-A Memphis with Alex Mejia taking his place on the big-league team. Thus far in 2017, Diaz is hitting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. Even though he has been struggling, this move comes as a surprise, but the 26-year-old will likely be back with the team in the near future after getting reps at Memphis.
Diaz is not in Wednesday's lineup, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports.
Diaz will sit for the second straight outing after getting starts in the 13 previous games. There doesn't appear to be an injury, but Paul DeJong is once again sliding over to short while Greg Garcia mans the keystone.
Diaz is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest reports.
Diaz will head to the bench for a breather after appearing in 13 straight games for the Cardinals. Paul DeJong will slide over to shortstop in his stead, while Greg Garcia gets the start at second base.
|7/21/2017 vs Chicago|
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|2014||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||13||44||5||10||2||0||2||6||7||10||1||0||.352||.409||.227|
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