Cardinals Recall Diaz and Lucas from Triple-A Memphis

photo: Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

For the final 12 games of the 2017 season, the St. Louis Cardinals will have 36 players on their active roster with the return of infielder Aledmys Diaz and relief pitcher Josh Lucas.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Wednesday) that they have recalled infielder Aledmys Diaz and right-handed pitcher Josh Lucas from Memphis (AAA).  Both players will join the Cardinals in Cincinnati for tonight’s game against the Reds, upping the team’s active roster to 36 players.

Diaz, 27, began the year with St. Louis, batting .260 with 7 home runs and 20 RBI in 71 games before being optioned to Memphis following the game on June 27.  Diaz, who still leads the Cardinals with his 19 infield hits, had 23 extra base hits among his 71 safeties at the Major League level.

Josh Lucas (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In 46 games at triple-A, Diaz batted .253 with 4 home runs and 26 RBI as the Memphis club posted a franchise record 91 wins and won the Pacific Coast League Championship Series.   Diaz played 28 games at shortstop, nine at third base and six at second base for the Redbirds.

Lucas, 26, who made his Major League debut with 2.0 innings of relief at Pittsburgh on August 19, is being recalled for a second time this season.   The Cardinals 21st round draft pick in 2010 finished the season with 17 saves for Memphis (3rd in the PCL), and provided the rescue in the Redbirds pennant-clinching win on Sunday at El Paso, Texas.   Lucas fanned 68 batters in his 60.0 innings of work for the triple-A Redbirds and walked only 12.

Diaz wears uniform no. 36 and Lucas wear no. 77.

Brian Walton’s take

Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Following Adam Wainwright’s Tuesday activation off the 10-day disabled list into a season-ending relief role and Memphis’ final game of the year, the Cardinals made what appears to be their final promotions of 2017 in Diaz and Lucas.

I find that those not included is at least as illustrative as those who are. The only 40-man roster players not with St. Louis are relief pitchers Rowan Wick and Mike Mayers plus infielders Breyvic Valera and Edmundo Sosa.

Valera was promoted briefly in early September and made his MLB debut, but in an unusual move, was returned to Memphis a week later. Sosa’s season will continue in the Arizona Fall League after the shortstop finished 2017 at Palm Beach.

From the moves made (and those that were not), my assessment is that the 40-man spots of Mayers and Valera may be most tenuous. Sosa could also be in trouble later if he does not shine in the desert, but less likely. I suspect Wick will be given more time to develop his breaking pitches.

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