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Cardinals to place Aledmys Diaz on 15-day DL with thumb fracture

CINCINNATI -- St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz, one of the leading contenders for National League Rookie of the Year honors, will be out for a matter of weeks after X-rays revealed a hairline fracture in his right thumb, general manager John Mozeliak said Monday.

Miami Marlins pitcher Andrew Cashner hit Diaz in the hand with a 95 mph fastball in Sunday's game, a 5-4 Marlins victory. Initial X-rays did not reveal the fracture.

"He's been put in a splint today and, once the swelling goes down, he'll be put in a cast," Mozeliak told reporters. "At some point, we'll reevaluate. Obviously, we're hopeful that it will be shorter rather than longer."

The team plans to put Diaz on the 15-day disabled list. Mozeliak indicated the injury likely will require him to miss more than just 15 days. The Cardinals had planned to activate Jhonny Peralta from the DL on Tuesday before their game with the Cincinnati Reds anyway, and Peralta will simply resume playing shortstop. He moved off the position to play third base earlier this season because of Diaz's meteoric rise from forgotten prospect to All-Star.

Diaz's .894 OPS ranks 15th in the National League. He is batting .312 with 57 RBIs and 64 runs. He was the only Cardinal to appear in last month's All-Star Game in San Diego. The Cardinals removed Diaz from their 40-man roster last season, exposing him to waiver claims, but his production picked up dramatically from that point and he became part of the team's plans when Peralta tore a thumb ligament in the spring.

The Cardinals were relatively inactive going into Monday's trade deadline -- with their only addition being reliever Zach Duke -- because they expected a boost when several key cogs returned from injuries. Brandon Moss is expected to be activated Tuesday as well after missing time with a sprained ankle, and All-Star second baseman Matt Carpenter is expected back from an oblique injury by the weekend.