Cardinals Notebook: Surging Paul Djong Leads the Way to Deadline Decisions | St. Louis Cardinals

TORONTO – As the trade deadline nears and the Cardinals consider moves that could reshape the present and future form of their central field, the performance of a minor league shortstop has put his name on those internal plans. Have given.

Paul Djong has entered the chat.

The former All-Star, demoted to AAA Memphis earlier this season after a slow start, hit home runs in back-to-back games to begin this week and continues a boom with major league clubs taking notice. Is. DeJong has hit .351 in 37 at-bats this month with a .784 slugging percentage, and .533 slugging in 50 games for Triple A Memphis with .840 ops and 16 homers. The Cardinals considered promoting him during this visit.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said: “I will continue to say what I said when we first sent him out – to do what we wanted to do this year, it was an everyday shortstop.” “So correcting him, bringing him back, is still a really good game for us. …he’s gone about it really well, and now he’s putting together a vibe that’s worthwhile. ,

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When and how the Cardinals make a move involving Djong will be affected by how the next several days from Tuesday’s trading time frame progress.

Utility infielder Edmondo Sosa is out of minor-league options, and the Cardinals are listening to offers for him. According to sources, at least one American League team has explored a deal with the Cardinals for Sosa. The Cardinals, who have been shopping starters to add to the rotation in other talks, will also want to add some pitching depth to the sides of the roster.

Rookie second baseman Nolan Gorman dipped 0-for-13 with a single on Wednesday night and followed that up with his 10th home run in the Cardinals’ 6-1 win over the Blue Jays. He entered the night looking for a full month, batting .158 with 23 strikeouts in 57 at-bats.

Marmol knocked Gorman down in the lineup on Wednesday, and he said the rookie came that afternoon for extra batting practice as he tries to adjust to how opponents limit him. Marmol said Gorman’s solid and second-place improvement has helped put him in the lineup for the reps he needs.

Gorman, a top-30 prospect in the minors entering this season, has drawn interest from other teams as the Cardinals figure out the cost of adding at least one starting pitcher.

Asked if it is DeJong’s performance that can ensure his return from Memphis or if another player’s performance is needed to open that opportunity up, Marmol said: Both.

“It’s always a combination,” said the manager. “Sometimes one forces the other.”

Now in its fourth year with a $26 million expansion guaranteed, DeJong had a production decline following injuries over the past several seasons. He started the summer short and hit .130 in his first 24 games with a .208 slugging percentage. Advanced metrics sank on his swing. Reports on Djong from Memphis have been favorable, and Marmol said the data matched the figures, suggesting that the improvements “will translate here,” he said.

With DeJong, he is on the verge of having enough service time that he will not be given the option back for minors. Marmol insisted that was not a factor for him.

“If he’s going to help us win,” said the manager, “I don’t care how many days he has left. It’s a matter of doing it – feeling back physically to be able to do it.” , to be mentally in enough space to compete. These two things coincide.”

Badar delayed, Molina ready for rehab

Center fielder Harrison Bader got a second opinion on ongoing pain in his right leg that stalled his rehab work. Bader is recovering from plantar fasciitis, painful damage to the soles of the feet that can sometimes feel like wearing from the inside out.

Badr continues to have pain in his heel, Marmol said, and another doctor advised rest. The length of time varies by person, and the Cardinals do not have a clear timetable for when their center fielder will return to the lineup. Hope was there this week, and the constant pain eluded her.

Yadier Molina (knee) will begin his rehab assignment with Memphis on Thursday and will start with the catcher. He could have grabbed five or six innings, and then on Friday he has to start on the set hitter. If he recovers from minor-league games, he will catch up over the weekend and prepare himself for a return to the majors on Tuesday against the Cubs.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him, of course,” said Marmol.

Card draft signers finalize

For the 11th time in 11 years since Major League Baseball introduced the current bonus pay limit for the amateur draft, the Cardinals have spent over their limit and will pay a cash penalty. The Cardinals were one of four teams to spend more than their assigned bonus limit in each of the first 10 years of the draft. There are other NL teams as well: the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants.

However, no team has so far spent more than the cap to trigger the loss of the picks in future rounds. Cardinals keep their overages below 5% of the total purse while paying taxes.

The Cardinals announced a final deal with Xavier’s left-hander John Lynch in the 18th round. The Cardinals have made deals with their first 19 picks, and they do not expect to sign their 20th and final pick, prep pitcher Gavin Van Kempen.

The right-handed pitcher shared on social media that he will keep his college commitments and that his “time in (West Virginia) has just begun and I’m not ready to give up.” The Cardinals’ first 10 picks, including first-rounder Cooper Hjerpe, a lefty, have all been signed, and several draft picks are at the team’s facility in Jupiter, Florida.

The Cardinals more than doubled the suggested slot bonus for sixth-rounder Max Rajasic, a UCLA right-hander, to lure him out of college with a bonus of about $600,000. It was the most significant over-slot for the Cardinals, who had a purse of $6.85 million and would have paid around $7.01 million to sign 19 players.

additional base

Paul Goldschmid, Nolan Arenado and Austin Romain have access to Busch Stadium throughout the week for any workout or hitting while on the banned list. All three players will travel to Washington to meet the team and will be on active rosters over the weekend.

• The Cardinals will start Miles Mikolas against Washington on Friday, welcome Dakota Hudson into the rotation again on Saturday and stick with a four-man rotation to start Andre Palante on Sunday. The team decided on the assignment on Wednesday afternoon.

• The two-match visit to Toronto was the Cardinals’ fourth for an Interleague series and the first since 2014. Major League Baseball is changing the format of the 2023 schedule so that all 30 teams play each other. The Cardinals will make regular visits to Toronto at least every other season.

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