Cardinals' Aledmys Diaz: Day off helps end slump

Diaz, who endured an 0-for-18 slump before a pinch-hit infield single Wednesday, studied film of his at-bats from last season and reevaluated his mental approach earlier that day, Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "I think a day off helped a lot," Diaz said. "I reset my mind. I came in early, watched a lot of video from the last year. I just feel good. I have confidence it's going to be better in the next couple of games. You have to trust the process, and keep working."

Diaz burst onto the scene last season with a .300/.369/.510 line over 111 games, and he appeared to be on track for more of the same in the early going this season. In Wednesday film study, the shortstop and hitting coach John Mabry pinpointed a narrowing of the hips in Diaz's stance this year when compared to last season -- a factor which potentially was inhibiting his visibility. They also took note of the numbers indicating reduced plate discipline this season, as evidenced by an 18.1 percent increase in Diaz's swing percentage on pitches outside the strike zone.

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