Get a free sneak preview of a cool book about the Tampa Bay Rays

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Friend of HardballTalk Jonah Keri has a book coming out about the Tampa Bay Rays soon. It’s called “The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First.” I’ve seen parts of it and what I’ve seen is excellent.

Though it won’t be available to the general public for a little while — you can pre-order here — you too can see parts of it now, as Jonah has a free preview up,  including Mark Cuban’s foreword and the prologue. I haven’t read the foreward yet.  I kind of hope Cuban goes nuts on Jonah like he’s a ref or something and then offers a passive-aggressive endorsement of the book like he does to the NBA on his blog.  That would be cool.

I don’t give a ton of plugs out around here, but this is a worthy one. Jonah is an excellent writer and I think it’s a book that’s really going to advance our understanding of how baseball teams — particularly low-revenue baseball teams — go about their business. So please, check it out.

Tim Tebow homered in his first at-bat with Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets minor league outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was recently promoted from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie. Critics suggested that, because Tebow wasn’t exactly lighting up competition with Columbia, the promotion was just about marketing.

Tebow, to his credit, has gotten off to a good start with St. Lucie. In his first at-bat with his new team, he hit a two-run home run, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run came on a 3-1 count against starter Junior Fernandez of the Palm Beach Cardinals. Fernandez is the Cardinals’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

With Columbia, Tebow was hitting a paltry .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances.

Cardinals option Aledmys Diaz to Triple-A

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The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.

Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.

Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.