DeJong Adjusting on Defense

(Busch Stadium) Just as they did years before in Little League, there are still times when a big leaguer needs to yell “I got it” to make the difference in a play being made or missed.

“I think it really is that simple,” agreed St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, who has had a pair of those situations come up in the last two games.

“The Carp play yesterday, I said ‘I got it’ just a little too late and then obviously we collided and what not,” DeJong explained. “Kolten and I both kind of felt each other and no one said anything so we both just kind of stopped and watched it go through us–which is not a good feeling. We talked about it and I think it’s more about me being aggressive on the front, trying to cut it off. He’s going to be more in the back on a backhand play, so it’s really whatever I can get but he has to be able to feel me coming too so he can cut behind and allow–at least to stop the ball if I miss it but most likely for me to catch it and throw him out.”

In the midst of his second full season at shortstop, DeJong is currently fielding at a 13% higher rate (.987) than last season and is tied for seventh best among all MLB at the position.

“It’s a challenge for me to be a little bit more vocal before it happens, which I means I have to anticipate a little better,” DeJong said. “I’m trying to be more aggressive going after balls that I think I can catch. It’s just a little adjustment period for us. We’ll work the kinks out.”

MORE MEMPHIS FOR MARTINEZ

–For the time being, Carlos Martinez will be staying in Memphis, where the right-hander will pitch again tomorrow night for the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate.

“Right now, it looks like another 10-14 days,” Mike Shildt said. “I think it’d be important he go back-to-back, but I wouldn’t say it’s an absolute.”

Martinez threw a scoreless eighth inning for the Redbirds last night. And while it is not clear if Carlos has regained full confidence in his shoulder, his power does appear to be full go.

“For you velocity fiends he was 95-98 so it checked the box for you guys,” Shildt added. “It seemed like he was good. 23 pitches, good fastball, worked around a couple walks.”

PUJOLS REACHES 2000

–Congratulations to Albert Pujols, who has joined Henry Aaron and Alex Rodriguez as the only players in Major League history to reach 2000 runs batted in for his career.

Pujols hit a solo homerun in the third inning of the Los Angeles Angels 13-0 win at Detroit this afternoon to reach the milestone…

Of his 2000 RBIs, 1329 came during the eleven seasons Pujols played in St. Louis.

photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI

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