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Mad Em-Dashes is a St. Louis Cardinals blog by Dan Moore that does not want to waste your time. 

The distance between Aledmys Diaz and Daniel Descalso

It's weird, now that blanket disdain for all decision-makers isn't a vital part of the baseball blogger tool kit, just how much our picture of Aledmys Diaz changed once it came out that he'd be making $8 million over four years instead of 20. Last year he was going to be the plan at shortstop; now he's a backup plan among backup plans, with no particular ETA or role set out for him.

At least, no particular ETA or role set out for him by the Cardinals. $2 million a year for Cardinals fans, who can afford to be less equanimous about this kind of thing, puts him squarely in Daniel-Descalso-replacement territory. He is not accruing value over a replacement player; he is accruing value over a player who's due to be replaced.

Which makes a positive first impression easier, at least.

It also gives us something to calibrate our lowered expectations by. Daniel Descalso was pretty busy at his age—coming off a huge half-season at AA Springfield, he hit a disappointing .282/.350/.421 in a full year at AAA Memphis and proceeded to ruin huge Springfield half-seasons for future Cardinals prospects forevermore.

If you're a Diaz skeptic, though, read it this way: That's what it took for Daniel Descalso to hit .243/.310/.346 over three seasons in the major leagues.

If Aledmys Diaz hits .323 or slugs .510 over half a year in the high minors I will overreact just like I did when Daniel Descalso did it. But while we're fitting him for his fatigues, I'll try to remember that a .771 OPS in Memphis was league average in the PCL in 2010. There's a lot Aledmys Diaz has to do to catch up to where Daniel Descalso was at 23.