Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Ashamed of Performance, Diaz Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Ashamed of Performance, Diaz Says

Article excerpt

If the Cardinals' front office, indeed, was sending a message to the club Friday with the reshuffling of some coaches and cutting ties with veteran infielder Jhonny Peralta, young shortstop Aledmys Diaz said the players already had the message.

"They didn't have to make those changes," said Diaz. "We realized we haven't played good baseball. It's about us, to play the right way and get the result. Wins.

"Everybody here is ashamed the way we played the last couple of weeks. No excuse."

Asked what "the right way" meant, Diaz said, "The right way is to start hitting. We haven't hit at all this year. In my case, it's hit it to right field."

Peralta, the club's regular shortstop until Diaz took over as Peralta battled thumb problems last year, was designated for assignment Friday, meaning the Cardinals have 10 days to waive or trade Peralta or, finally, to release him.

"It's a tough situation for the whole team, losing a couple of guys (Peralta, Matt Adams) the past couple of weeks," Diaz said. "But we didn't play good baseball.

"It's going to be tough for everybody, especially for me, because of how much he helped me when I came up last year.

"He was a great teammate and a great person. He tried to teach me the right way to be a good teammate in the big leagues. I'm going to appreciate that for the rest of my career. I hope that he can get on another team and continue to play in the big leagues."

Peralta, 35, had lost his third-base job to Jedd Gyorko at the start of the season when he became ill with an upper respiratory infection that proved difficult to treat. In 54 at-bats this season, Peralta had 11 hits, all singles, and didn't drive in a run.

Last year in abbreviated action, Peralta hit .260 with eight homers in 289 at-bats. In the first two years of his four-year, $53 million contract, Peralta totaled 21 and 17 home runs, respectively, and drove in 75 and 71 runs.

This year, the final year of the front-loaded deal, the Cardinals were paying him only $9 million, meaning the club is on the hook for about $6 million unless another team trades for him or claims him on waivers.

If Peralta is released, a signing team would have to pay him only the pro-rated minimum salary of $535,000, and the Cardinals would be responsible for the rest. …

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