March 29, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso (33) at bat during a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Descalso powers Cardinals past Nationals

Daniel Descalso led the St. Louis Cardinals past the Washington Nationals yesterday roping a pair of two-runs doubles backing Jake Westbrook‘s 5.2 innings of one-run ball en route to a 6-2 victory.

March 29, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso (33) at bat during a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Descalso may not be an everyday starter (yet), but it has become apparent this Spring that he is more than capable of taking on a starting role. The best part of it is that Descalso can play all over the infield. I would entertain, that he could play the outfield if he was asked to. In a way, this may be why he is being placed in a utility role.

Westbrook had trouble with only one Nationals’ batter, Chad Tracy, who singled and homered. Westbrook ends the spring with a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings of work. The offseason workouts have unveiled the old Jake Westbrook. He and the Cardinals hope it lasts through the regular season. Westbrook came into the spring the fifth starter and may well be near the top of the rotation at the end of the season.

Mitchell Boggs gave up another run in his inning of work on two hits. He carries a 4.91 ERA so far this spring with a 1.27 WHIP. Performances like this may force Matheny;s hand in the regular season.


Jordan Swagerty will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery according to reporter Jenifer Langosch. He is also scheduled to have bone spurs removed in the same right elbow. Swagerty was expected to start the season in Double-A after a successful year in 2011 working his way through 3 separate leagues. Swagerty is 22 years old and could return in as little as one year. The surgery has become a standard now and recuperation times vary between 12 and 18 months.


Jaime Garcia will make his final start of the spring today. In his last outing he faced the Triple-A Memphis team. This time he goes against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.


For what it’s worth, I’m glad both Descalso and Greene have proven themselves to Mike Matheny. If that had not been the case, then Matheny would have no choice but to continually write Rafael Furcal‘s name in the lineup. I ranted about Furcal earlier this week and I don’t want people to think I have anything against him personally. I don’t. I don’t know him at all, so I’m not passing judgment on him on a personal level. But I do see the writing on the wall. It’s been there for a little while now. The injuries have affected him. While he may not be hurt now, there is definitely something not right with him. There comes a point in time in all professional athletes’ careers where they just don’t have it anymore. This could be happening with Furcal.

Furcal went hitless in three at-bats yesterday dropping his average to .180. He was lifted for Greene mid-way through the game. Greene got a hit in two at-bats. We already know what Descalso did yesterday. Matheny maintains, “Raffy’s our shortstop.”

Raffy’s the shortstop until he’s not allowed to be anymore. I’d like to be able to believe he is having a hard time after recuping from an appendectomy during the offseason, but I can’t help but think what the next ailment is going to be. Whatever it is, knowing there are two able bodies ready to take over the middle part of the infield should put the fans’ minds at ease. Of concern is the contract held over the Cardinals’ heads. You can’t write off $14 million. General manager John Mozeliak better hope that if Furcal doesn’t come around, Descalso and Greene can pick up the slack. I’ve said it before, winning masks deficiencies. It’s too bad this one costs so much.

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Tags: Cardinals Daniel Descalso Jaime Garcia Jake Westbrook John Mozeliak Jordan Swagerty Mike Matheny St Louis Cardinals Tyler Greene

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