UCB Roundtable Discussion: Who will man second base for Cardinals?

As part of the United Cardinal Bloggers pre-season roundtable discussion, I asked members the following two questions. The Cardinals head into camp with one position wide open, second base. Who do you feel is the Cardinals best option? Who do you think will secure the job? See the collection of their answers after the break.

First, my own two cents. I think Skip Schumaker is the best option, but I believe the Cards would rather use his versatility around the field and not cement him in one position. I think they will opt to play Tyler Greene at second assuming a big spring. His bat and speed, if they come around, add a dimension that Daniel Descalso doesn’t possess. It’s time Greene prove himself and I get the feeling he will do so right out of the gate.

Daniel Solzman – Redbird Rants & Redbirds Fun

I defintely see a platoon situation, likely between Skip and Greene. Fielding wise, 2010 was Skip’s bad season at second with 16 errors. He managed to get that down to 7 last season. He did manage to bring his bat back this past season as well, up to .283 from .265 in 10 but nothing close to the .303 that he hit during 08-09.

If Greene’s bat does not coe around, I also believe Skip is the best option available.

Daniel Shoptaw – C70 At The Bat

Lots of ifs, of course. I’m not in favor of Skip getting much time at second, because I think Daniel Descalso can do pretty much everything Skip can do offensively with much better range and glove. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Descalso win the job at all.

That said, Tyler Greene is out of options, which does give him a tiebreaker. And if–that word again–his bat does come around in the more relaxed environment and with a little more repetition at the bigs, his speed can give this team a different look. I’d really like to see him play well in spring and take that job over.

Tom Knuppel – Cardinals GM

I am not convinced Matheny views Schumaker as a viable infield option. This was a LaRussa thing. I believe he will give Greene every chance with Descalso getting the leftovers. Schu may get innings there if the roster has been depleted for a particular game.

Rodney Knuppel – Saint Louis Sports

With Matheny’s emphasis more on speed, I look for Tyler Greene to nab the second base position for the Cardinals. Descalso will be used as a utility guy, and Schumaker will be an outfield option. Greene will have some
proving to do, and to this point – the only thing he has proved to me – is he is frustrating to watch!

Dathan Brooks – Cards Tied For First

I don’t know if it’s Skip’s job to lose, or if it’s his to win. I think Matheny is keenly aware of the importance of solid defense up the middle, and may be likely to focus more on that aspect, given the fairly solid lineup he’ll have. DD is a great option there too, I wouldn’t mind if he won the job. As far as Greene goes, I’m of the MO state of mind, and would need him to “show me” he can do it in the bigs–something I’ve not necessarily seen yet, and not because he hasn’t had chances.

Chris Mallonee – Birds on the Bat 82

Mo has publicly stated that they want to give Greene a long look at 2B in spring training, so I view that as it’s his job to lose. I think Skip will be super utility and Descalso primarily backup 3B that can also fill other spots as needed. My hunch is there will be a lot of ABs at third for Descalso this year.

Ray DeRousse – STL Cardinal Baseball

This is the biggest question of the spring, and its answer will tell us much about the thinking of this new organization.

I desperately want Greene to win this job. If he can produce an average around .280-.290, he will be a dangerous part of this new-look lineup. His glove should be at least as good as Skip’s.

Descalso makes a decent backup plan. I’m not as sold on his offensive possibilities as some after the whole D-Money stuff from last year, but he’s a gamer. Great glove, too.

Skip was a strange signing to me. I guess his great clubhouse attitude and his previous success at the plate warrant some consideration, but the guy just isn’t a second baseman. It was a dumb idea on TLR’s part to do that in the first place (but he’s a Hall of Fame manager!!!!!)

I just really want Greene to get it. Strange, though – we’ve heard a bunch about how Descalso is working hard to win the job, but nothing about Greene. Curious.

Mark Tomasik – RetroSimba

Daniel Descalso. He ranked third in the National League in fielding among third basemen in 2011. He should be as good at second base. With 20 doubles and a .264 batting average, he has the potential to produce enough offense
as well.

Christine Coleman – Aaron Miles‘ Fastball

My opinion on who’s the best option for the job is Daniel Descalso. He proved his worth in 2011 and deserves the opportunity to be out there full-time. As for who I think will secure the job, I think it will be both Descalso and Tyler Greene splitting time at second. It’s time — beyond time, actually — to see what Greene is really capable of and I think he’ll be given plenty of opportunities.

As for Skip Schumaker, I think he’ll be in utility/back-up outfielder/pinch-hitter role.

JE Powell – STL: Fear the Red

I would like to see Daniel Descalso get the majority of the playing time at 2nd. Skip Schumaker has been a good stopgap at 2nd the last few years, but the Cards have not really had a better option duing that time. However, Descalso, or Tyler Greene, seem to be the best option for the next few years. I think, given more playing time, we will see Descalso emerge as the everyday 2nd bagger.

Nick Waeltz – Pitchers Hit Eighth

My preferred solution would be to have Tyler Greene figure it out and to have him in an almost straight platoon at 2B with Daniel Descalso.  I expect Schumaker to get a few starts here and there, but I think that experiment is
finally over.

What I don’t get is all of the assumption that the job is Greene’s to lose. Mozeliak said they plan to give him every opportunity there, but that seems logical, given that he’s out of options.  He has to succeed and stick with the team, or else he’s going to be outrighted.  I read Mo’s comment as “we’ll give him all the chances he wants, but he’s got to take them” – again, if not, my feeling is he won’t be with this club.

Besides, Mike Matheny‘s the one to decide who plays second base, not Mo – right?

The questions were also tweeted and here are a few of the replies. First, @gr33nazn says “Allen Craig & Skip Schumaker simultaneously. Let Skip float on defense.” Next, @filmjerk states, I think we need Skips bat in the lineup. Let him start the year and spot start Greene and Descalso.” Lastly, @ELMookador comments, “Descalso is the best option.  Skip will maintain the majority of starts though.  Greene deserves a solid look though.”

What are your thoughts? Please let us know in the comments.

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Tags: Allen Craig Cardinals Daniel Descalso John Mozeliak Mike Matheny Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Tyler Greene

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