Cardinals' Aledmys Diaz: 'Pretty exciting' to make NL All-Star Team
St. Louis Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz will replace injured second basemen Matt Carpenter on the National League All-Star roster, the team announced Thursday.
Carpenter was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain sustained in Wednesday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Thursday morning, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called Diaz into his office to tell him he had been added to the All-Star roster in Carpenter’s place.
“That’s pretty exciting,” Diaz said. “To go and play against the a lot of the stars, playing against great players that have played 10 years in the major leagues, to be in the All-Star Game playing against (Manny) Ortiz, in his last season, that’s pretty exciting for me.
Don't let anybody limit you, that's the story of Aledmys Diaz right now. He had that little chance and he jumped in. There was a crack in the door and he kicked it and has refused to let it shut.
Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals manager
“It’s pretty emotional. The last three months were crazy, a lot of things happened. But day to day we’re here for winning, so I just focus on the everyday game. But it’s pretty exciting for me to for me to be part of the All-Star Game.”
Diaz, who will be 26 on Aug. 1, made a place for himself in the Cardinals’ starting lineup with a spring training injury to Jhonny Peralta’s thumb. Diaz is hitting .319 with 22 doubles, 12 home runs and 44 runs batted in.
His performance forced a move of Peralta to third base and Carpenter to second. He also made a name for himself with the league’s other managers.
“Don't let anybody limit you, that's the story of Aledmys Diaz right now,” said Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny. “He had that little chance and he jumped in. There was a crack in the door and he kicked it and has refused to let it shut.”
With injuries to Brandon Moss, who went on the disabled list after turning his left ankle running the bases on the Fourth of July, and Peralta, who is day-to-day with another thumb injury, Matheny says similar opportunities have opened.
Others in the Cardinals’ clubhouse would do well to follow Diaz’s example.
It’s pretty emotional. The last three months were crazy, a lot of things happened. But day to day we’re here for winning, so I just focus on the everyday game. But it’s pretty exciting for me to for me to be part of the All-Star Game.
Aldedmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals rookie shortstop
"It is remarkable and it's the kind of story that needs to be talked about and remind everybody in there. That's what we're asking of some of our players right now,” Matheny said. “Moss goes down, opportunity. Carpenter goes down, opportunity. What are you going to do with it.
Carpenter was named as a National League reserve at second base. He has a .298 average with a league-leading on-base percentage of .420, 15 home runs and 53 RBIs, batting from the lead-off spot.
Matheny pulled Carpenter from the game in the third inning after he pulled the muscle on the right side of his torso while trying to check his swing. The severity of the injury and the exact amount of time he’ll be unavailable remains to be determined, but Matheny called the 15-day DL stay a minimum.
Carpenter is expected to attend the All-Star Game, which will be played in San Diego’s Petco Park Tuesday.
"We'd love to have him healthy still, but if there's a benefit it's that we get Aledmys the kind of recognition that he's due,” Matheny said. “Matt still has the honor of being a part of that All-Star team, which he deserves."
Diaz will be the Cardinals’ lone representative in San Diego unless National League manager Terry Collins of the New York Mets selects a member of the St. Louis pitching staff.