The Cardinals hosted the Nationals in Sunday afternoon’s exhibition tilt at Roger Dean Stadium. A funny thing happened in the fifth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, minor league infielder Aledmys Diaz hit a Burke Badenhop offering so hard — or so perfectly — that he ripped the seams off of the ball.
The 25-year-old Cuban made it to Triple-A for the first time last year, earning a late-August promotion. In 58 plate appearances with Triple-A Memphis, Diaz hit .380/.448/.620 with three home runs.
Diaz inked a four-year, $8 million deal with the Cardinals in March 2014.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.