Diaz sees big­ger things for Blue Jays

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - ROB LONGLEY

When Aled­mys Diaz looks around the Toronto Blue Jays club­house, he doesn’t see a team that fell flat on its face in 2017.

The Jays’ new short­stop sees a de­ter­mined team with enough past ac­com­plish­ments to have se­ri­ous po­ten­tial for re­newed suc­cess.

“We can’t con­trol what the peo­ple say out­side about us, but it you look at it, base­ball is a game of num­bers,” Diaz said on Wed­nes­day through trans­la­tor Jo­sue Pe­ley.

“If you look across this room, we all had suc­cess at one point of our careers. I think right now we’re just putting it all to­gether and we’re hav­ing some fun. It’s work­ing so far and ev­ery­one is close and wants to have a suc­cess­ful sea­son.”

Diaz is front and cen­tre among those. He was named to the Na­tional League all-star team in 2016 when he was with the St. Louis Car­di­nals. He re­gressed at the plate last sea­son, but Jays gen­eral man­ager Ross Atkins saw a po­ten­tial re­turn to form when he made a deal for him this win­ter.

Of course, more than any­thing Diaz and his Jays team­mates want to play base­ball af­ter be­ing rained three con­sec­u­tive games. The most bizarre of those was Mon­day’s post­pone­ment at the Rogers Cen­tre, where mul­ti­ple leaks in the dome made the fa­cil­ity un­safe for play.

The wet weather has halted one of the hottest streaks of Diaz’s ca­reer. When he’s on the field, how­ever, Diaz has shown that he can be money. Step­ping in for in­jured Troy Tu­low­itzki, he has been cred­i­ble de­fen­sively and has shown power at the plate.

“You’re al­ways try­ing to get good at bats ev­ery time you go out there and it’s al­ways fun to have a good game,” Diaz said. “When you help the team get wins, that means you’re do­ing your job.”

Aled­mys Diaz

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