After he was scratched from Saturday’s game, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday with a left elbow strain. In a corresponding move, the team purchased the contract of infielder Paul DeJong from Triple-A Memphis.
Ranked as the team’s eleventh-best prospect according to the VEB prospect list, DeJong got off to a sizzling start for the Memphis Redbirds, slashing .294/.331/.541 with nine doubles, 11 homers, and 31 runs batted in over 46 games. The stellar offensive productions comes less than a year removed from when the right-handed hitter broke out for a career-high 22 homers in 2016 at Double-A.
Drafted as a third baseman, the 23-year-old DeJong has adopted more of a utility role over the last year or so, starting at short 35 times in 2017 and logging nearly 40 frames of fieldwork at second base. Regardless of where he may get his defensive reps in with Wong on the shelf, DeJong was certainly in line for a promotion at one point or another this year singularly due to his bat.
DeJong was not the only Memphis player to get the call over the weekend. With a bullpen that has scuffled to get outs dependably throughout the first eight weeks of the season, the Cardinals made a move on Saturday in an attempt to address their struggles on the relief front: the club purchased the contract of John Brebbia from Triple-A and designated Miguel Socolovich for assignment.
Serving as one of the Redbirds’ set-up men and occasional closer, the right-handed Brebbia was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 15 games (including one spot start) at Memphis with three saves in as many chances. To go along with just five earned runs over 26 2⁄3 innings, Brebbia has held his opponents to a .172 batting mark and whiffed 29.
Brebbia was claimed off waivers from the Angels in December 2015 and flip-flopped between Double-A and Triple-A for much of last summer before spending the final months of the year as a Redbird.
DeJong is not in the starting lineup for Sunday’s rubber game with the Rockies, although he may be used off the bench later in the game as a pinch-hitter. Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta (both getting rest) are the other right-handed options - the only other options, for that matter. Piscotty remains away from the club for personal reason.
As for Brebbia, he might find his way into the action if the game becomes lopsided. It seems unlikely Mike Matheny would insert him in a ‘high-leverage’ situation.