photo: Paul DeJong via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
After just one day off following seven consecutive days with player moves, the St. Louis Cardinals continued their series of transactions on Sunday, welcoming back one of the team’s offensive and defensive standouts.
St. Louis Cardinals announcement
We have activated SS Paul DeJong from the Injured List.
RHP Seth Elledge was optioned to our Alternate Training Site following last night’s game. pic.twitter.com/qWEH5AWIdD
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 23, 2020
Brian Walton’s take
On Sunday, a day earlier than expected, the Cardinals welcome back their starting shortstop Paul DeJong. The team’s cleanup hitter is the second of the team’s 10 COVID-positive players to be activated, following catcher Yadier Molina, who returned on Thursday.
DeJong went on the injured list on August 4. He was cleared to begin practice earlier in the week and then shifted to the team’s alternate camp in Springfield, MO to get some live at-bats in simulated games.
Though DeJong is batting seventh in his initial return on Sunday, that is expected to be temporary only. In his absence, Tommy Edman was the regular shortstop. Going forward, Edman could move into a third base-designated hitter rotation with Matt Carpenter and Brad Miller, as well as backing up DeJong and second baseman Kolten Wong.
Elledge, 24, was added to the roster and was called up on August 15. The Cardinal Nation’s 34th-ranked prospect pitched in four innings over three games. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits (including a home run), walked five and struck out eight. He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
Elledge will undoubtedly rejoin the Cardinals before the season is out.
The Cardinals’ 40-man roster remains at 46. The club has the room to activate two more of the eight remaining COVID IL players before they will be required to make 40-man roster cuts.
The eight, who are at various stages of readiness, are pitchers Carlos Martinez, Ryan Helsley, Kodi Whitley and Junior Fernandez, infielder Edmundo Sosa and outfielders Rangel Ravelo, Austin Dean and Lane Thomas.
Prior to Sunday’s game, manager Mike Shildt provided updates on the four of the eight still in St. Louis. (The others are in Springfield.)
Martinez will throw against live hitters on Monday and Helsley will throw a bullpen session. Thomas and Dean have not yet been cleared to begin light baseball activities.
As previously noted, pitcher Matthew Liberatore was brought to St. Louis from Springfield on Thursday to throw live to Molina and DeJong. Shildt added that between them, Molina and DeJong saw 75 pitches from the lefty In addition, the shortstop had 8-10 at-bats while in Springfield.
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