JUPITER, Fla. • Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz is expected to make his debut sometime during Friday's game against Washington at Roger Dean Stadium, manager Mike Matheny said this morning.
Diaz, 23, is scheduled to return to camp today from Mexico, where he traveled to secure a work visa.
The Cardinals signed Diaz to a four-year, $8-million contract earlier this month and intend to start him at Class AA Springfield as the everyday shortstop.
The Cardinals hoped he would be able to get the necessary paperwork to play in the Grapefruit League games before the team migrated north for the regular season. Diaz has been playing in minor-league games because he would draw no payment from appearing there.
Matheny said that Diaz will play in the game, though he may not start.
The Cardinals have seven games remaining in Florida after today and eight exhibition games on the schedule for Diaz to appear in.