WASHINGTON (AP)The St. Louis Cardinals traded shortstop Edmundo Sosa to the Philadelphia Phillies for left-hander JoJo Romero on Saturday and will activate shortstop Paul DeJong off the taxi squad.
An All-Star in 2019, DeJong was demoted to Triple-A Memphis in May after hitting .130 with one home run in 24 games. The 28-year-old may have rediscovered his power stroke in the minors, slugging 17 homers with a .249 batting average in 51 games.
He hit .366 with six home runs in 11 July games, including a home run in each of his final three games with the Memphis Redbirds. He’s expected to be with the Cardinals for their game Saturday night at Washington.
Sosa is a slick defender, giving the poor-fielding Phillies a potential upgrade in the infield. The 26-year-old has struggled at the plate, hitting .189 without a homer in 53 games this season.
Sosa was expected to join Philadelphia late Saturday night in Pittsburgh and possibly be available on Sunday. Phillies manager Rob Thomson expects to use Sosa as a utility player with a chance to start when Philadelphia faces a left-handed pitcher.
”He’s a really good defender,” Thomson said. ”He plays second, short, third. Yeah he’s a plus, plus defender anywhere he plays, and he can run.”
Sosa’s arrival and the imminent return of shortstop Jean Segura – who is rehabbing from a broken right index finger and will become eligible to come off the 60-day injured list Sunday – will create a crunch in the middle infield.
The team will have to make a move to put Sosa on the roster, and another whenever Segura is back. Thomson said Segura won’t be in the majors on Sunday, though the Phillies have a day off on Monday, the day before the trade deadline.
Thomson gave veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius a vote of confidence, praising his defense even as he scuffles at the plate. Gregorius entered Saturday hitting .218 with one home run and 19 RBIs in 59 games.
”The one thing Didi is doing is he’s playing his rear end off at short,” Thomson said. ”He’s making plays, attacking balls. His glovework is so good. It’s better than I’ve seen since his (New York) Yankee days. He’s really moving well.”
The 25-year-old Romero has pitched in parts of three big league seasons, including two relief appearances this year with three runs allowed in two innings. He has a 7.89 ERA in the majors. St. Louis assigned Romero to Triple-A.
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