Cardinals rookie Alex Mejia was right where he indispensable to be in a eighth inning Thursday afternoon, positioned to make a large defensive play opposite a Miami Marlins.
Mejia had only entered a diversion during shortstop with a Cardinals sticking to a 4-3 lead. Greg Garcia, who started a diversion there, slid over to second bottom and Matt Carpenter changed from second bottom to initial to reinstate rookie Luke Voit.
Garcia had started in place of rookie Paul DeJong, who had been stuffing in for shortstop Aledmys Diaz — who is down in Memphis perplexing to recover his All-Star form of a summer ago. Whew!
Carpenter played second bottom in place of a harmed Kolten Wong, permitting a hot-hitting Voit to start again during first. Oh, and Jose Martinez got one some-more start in right field, attack third in a batting order, before returning to Memphis to make room for Dexter Fowler entrance off a infirm list.
It’s been that kind of season, with manager Mike Matheny relying on a rotating expel of prospects and abyss guys while perplexing to keep a group contending. While many Cardinals regulars have struggled this season, several irregulars have modernized their careers while gaining changed large joining exposure.
Like Martinez, reliever John Brebbia is a interloper from a eccentric American Association — routinely a ballplayer’s final stop before forced retirement. Minor joining maestro Chad Huffman saw his initial large joining avocation in 7 years. Then it was Voit’s turn, violence a contingency as a 665th collect in a 2013 draft.
“It’s some-more fun than anything saying guys we got drafted with or guys that we played with during some point, get their chance, generally Jose Martinez,” Mejia said. “He’s been in a teenager leagues so long, for him to finally mangle through, it was only joy.
“These guys are adult here for a reason. It’s not only a portion that they get a call. They put in their tough work. They sweat. They strew some tears, they strew some blood only like we have. We’re all perplexing to do a same thing.”
Mejia, 26, finally got his call after racking adult 1,798 teenager joining during bats. He repaid a Cardinals in his third pro game, smacking a two-run homer to kick a Washington Nationals 2-1.
“The staff adult here, a players, a teammates, everybody does a unequivocally good pursuit to make us feel acquire and comfortable,” Mejia said. “So when we do get in games of such gravity, we only kind of react. It takes divided many of a pressure, other than a diversion itself.”
Mejia, a fourth-round collect from a University of Arizona in 2012, suffered a knee damage that aborted his initial pro deteriorate during Batavia. After successful stops in Peoria and Palm Beach, he reached Double A Springfield in 2014. Then he bounced between Springfield and Triple-A Memphis a final 3 seasons.
He played in only dual open training games for a Cardinals this year, removing dual hits in 3 during bats. Displaced by a fast-rising DeJong as a starting Memphis shortstop to start a season, Mejia had to lapse to Springfield.
“I went there, we was a small bit unhappy we wasn’t in Triple-A,” Mejia admitted.
But he warranted high regard for portion as purpose indication for reduction gifted prospects. “They all follow a approach he plays,” Springfield manager Johnny Rodriguez told TheCardinalNation.com progressing this season. “He’s a ubiquitous out there. He’s a manager on a field. Gives we each representation and all else.
“He is a Peyton Manning out there. He is a Peyton Manning a approach he plays a game.”
DeJong’s second graduation to a Cardinals this deteriorate warranted Mejia another graduation to Memphis. Soon thereafter, Diaz’s overwhelming demotion warranted Mejia a sheet to Phoenix to join a Cardinals for their array opposite a Arizona Diamondbacks.
“That was flattering unbelievable,” Mejia said. “To get that call was a small bit of a shock, to be honest. we wasn’t awaiting it. But during a same time, we did consider it was well-deserved.”
Given his career ups and downs, he didn’t know what to consider when Memphis manager Stubby Clapp pulled him aside before a game. “He told me we have some good and bad news,” Mejia said. “At that indicate we was kind of wondering what was going on. He gave me a good news and we was only happy.”
He was even happier when he reported to work during Chase Field. He knew this assignment could be ephemeral — a Memphis convey is using like a commuter operation this deteriorate — though he was a large leaguer during last.
“It was unequivocally amazing,” Mejia said. “I got to see my relatives come out. My mother done a trip. It was unequivocally good to see people there.”
Anyway, so Mejia was personification shortstop Thursday afternoon. With runners during initial and second bottom with nobody out, a Marlins sent pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis adult to bunt a runners over.
Third baseman Jedd Gyorko charged down a third bottom line and Carpenter came in from first. Mejia pennyless to third and Garcia pennyless to first. Ellis bunted a round toward Gyorko, who threw to Mejia to get a lead curtain during third. Mejia dismissed a round opposite a solid to Garcia to finish a double play.
“I was perplexing to do my job,” Mejia said. “We ran a play there where we were going to get a lead out. If we have a chance, we like to get that second out. we was only kind of doing my play. The staff does a good pursuit of giving us a plan so if we do get in a diversion like that, it is kind of second nature, don’t even have to consider about it.”
Such moments are magnified for replacement operative on a day-to-day basis. While a Cardinals might not convene to broach a noted 2017 campaign, organizational soldiers like Mejia are enjoying a deteriorate they will never forget.
“You know, we go behind dual months, we substantially wouldn’t have suspicion I’d be where I’m during today,” Mejia pronounced after a game. “But we know we always believed in himself, always felt like we belonged adult here. It was only removing a opportunity. I’m beholden to get a opportunity.”