Paul DeJong needs just 15 runs scored in the Cardinals’ final 30 games to score 100 for the season and become only the fourth shortstop in club history to reach that plateau.
The club record holder for shortstops is Solly Hemus, who scored 110 runs in 1953 after scoring 105 in 1952. Garry Templeton scored 104 runs in 1979 and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith 104 in 1987.
DeJong’s modest on-base percentage of .332 ranked one point ahead of Templeton, who rarely met a walk he liked. But it is well behind the .392 achieved by both Hemus and Smith.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” said manager Mike Shildt of DeJong’s ability to score runs. “I love that category as much as anybody — runs scored. Because that’s how we win games.”
THOMAS OUT; O’NEILL UP
The X-rays taken in Milwaukee, the Tuesday night he was hit by a pitch, didn’t reveal a small fracture to Cardinals outfielder Lane Thomas’ right wrist. But a CT scan taken here Thursday, after the Cardinals returned from their trip, revealed a small fracture and Thomas was placed on the 10-day injured list, likely out for the remainder of the regular season. The timetable offered by Shildt was three to six weeks and there are only four weeks remaining in the season.
“Never say never,” said Shildt about Thomas’ return this season, “but it’s not favorable.”
Outfielder Tyler O’Neill, who had been on a minor league rehabilitation option for a left wrist strain he had suffered on July 31, was removed from the injured list and activated before Friday’s rainout.
O’Neill, batting .279 for the Cardinals with five homers, was six for 22 at Memphis and Springfield with one homer.
Thomas hit .316 with four homers in just at-bats for the Cardinals. He had been hit in the right arm earlier in the Milwaukee series.
Lately, Thomas has been finishing games in the outfield, mostly in right field. “I think Thomas is considered close to a (Harrison) Bader-caliber defender,” said Shildt.
O’Neill, while a capable outfielder, isn’t considered elite. “He’s an improving defender but a different type player with a little different usage,” said Shildt.
OTHER CALL-UPS LOOM
Shildt said that when the September call-ups are completed, the Cardinals’ roster will number “about 33.”
The club can begin bringing up players on Sunday (Sept. 1) with outfielder Jose Martinez, who is on an injury rehab option at Class AA Springfield, sure to be one of those. Others likely to be recalled are catcher Andrew Knizner, shortstop Edmundo Sosa, pitchers Junior Fernandez and Genesis Cabrera and outfielder Randy Arozarena, all from Memphis. Reliever Mike Mayers, who started the season here and then was outrighted, could be put back on the 40-man roster with the waiving of infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson.
Outfielder Adolis Garcia, who has surpassed the 30-homer, 90-RBI plateaus at Memphis, also is possible. Still a possibility, although a small one, is 20-year-old, non-roster outfielder Dylan Carlson, who is at Memphis after being named the Texas League Player of the Year for his season at Springfield.
Shildt will have extra players but he said he enjoyed managing with fewer, as it will be next year when, according to a projected rules change, every team will have 28 players for September rather than anywhere between 25 and 40.
CARPENTER TO PLAY FIRST
Matt Carpenter was taking ground balls at first base Friday, preparatory to a probable start there either in Saturday’s day-night doubleheader or in Sunday’s to rest Paul Goldschmidt, who has appeared in all 132 games.
• Former third-base coach Jose Oquendo, now a minor league instructor; Memphis pitching coach Dernier Orozco; minor league instructor Ryan Ludwick, a former Cardinals outfielder; and Springfield pitching coach Darwin Marrero all will be on hand to assist Shildt and his staff in September.
• Seven Cardinals minor leaguers, including Carlson, have been named to the Glendale Desert Dogs roster for the Arizona Fall League season to begin next month.
Also named were Memphis pitchers Scott Elledge and Kodi Whitley, Palm Beach pitcher Griffin Roberts, Palm Beach catcher Ivan Herrera. Springfield third baseman Elehuris Montero and Memphis infielder Kramer Robertson. One more Cardinal farmhand will be added to the club although Cardinals officials are weighing whether to have Carlson compete in the AFL or rest an entire off-season.