The St. Louis Cardinals may have to make a very difficult decision soon regarding former All-Star shortstop Paul DeJong.
With his recent struggles and the emergence of Brendan Donovan, DeJong has lost his spot as the starting shortstop.
Tommy Edman has taken over the starting job at shortstop with Donovan now at second base.
This year was set to be an important year for DeJong.
In each of the last two seasons, the former All-Star has hit below .200.
He had reworked his swing in the offseason and came into camp ready to prove himself.
However, injuries have slowed him down.
On Twitter, Cardinals writer John Denton discussed how these injuries have put DeJong back in a holding pattern.
After working all offseason to retool his swing, Paul DeJong was supposed to get plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills this spring. However, multiple injuries have the #STLCards shortstop in a holding pattern yet again. https://t.co/ft8GuKD49y
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) March 16, 2023
DeJong may in fact be down to his final chance with the Cardinals before they decide to move on from him.
Since his All-Star campaign, he has significantly declined at the plate.
He hit only .197 in 2021 and was ultimately sent down to Triple-A Memphis last season after his struggles intensified.
DeJong’s recent decline could be compared to that of Matt Carpenter, who struggled to find consistency at the plate in his final three seasons with the Cardinals before his eventual departure.
But with stars such as Masyn Winn in the system and Edman, Donovan, and Nolan Gorman on the big-league roster, the window may well be closing for DeJong.
Injuries have slowed him down, and he hasn’t shown much progress at the plate this spring.
Very soon, the Cardinals may have to make a tough decision based on his recent performance.NEXT: Cardinals Insider Notes The Return Of A Key Player