Aledmys Diaz learned English from watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show

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OK, that’s the funny takeaway from this story, but it’s not really the point. The point is Derrick Goold’s get-to-know Aledmys Diaz story, which is pretty good. The Cardinals’ 25-year-old shortstop prospect faces a pretty big challenge in filling Jhonny Peralta‘s shoes, but as we noted yesterday he got off to a good start, going 4-for-4.

Goold’s story is the sort of thing you bookmark for later. From it you get the strong sense from it that the Cardinals are really hoping he pans out as an everyday replacement for Peralta. You can’t help but think of past fill-ins for the Cardinals when reading it. They always seem to come out OK after a star goes down or after they take a flyer on someone no one else thought could do the job. Adam Wainwright has missed two of the past five seasons. The Cardinals won the World Series in one of them and won 100 games in the other. Bobby Bonilla went down in spring training once and they called up a kid named Pujols who turned out OK. They have signed guys at the end of the line on multiple occasions who put up randomly amazing half-seasons or swan songs. We joke about “Cardinals Devil Magic” but it’s likely the case that they simply know when to take a chance on a short term replacement and that their good judgment married with good luck has been a key part of their success.

That could very well happen with Diaz. If so, it’ll be interesting to go back to this article and see if there was some prescience on the part of the Cardinals that, right now, just seems like optimism. Oh, and it’ll definitely be worth going back for this:

Before answering questions about his four-for-four day, Diaz told reporters that he wanted to first say how he “felt bad” for Peralta and how important the All-Star is to the Cardinals team. Diaz said that in English just 12 months after he would request an interpreter for all interviews. To improve his English, Diaz watched YouTube on his phone. One of his best teachers has been The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which he watches to learn conversation.

Which puts one in mind of this:

 

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.