Now that Furcal has a clean bill of health and the St. Louis Cardinals are trying to get Matt Carpenter to be their everyday second baseman, let’s explore some utility infield possibilities. In my opinion, I think and it has been my experience that, a player that
plays shortstop, can easily also play the second base position. So, most of my candidates are free agent shortstops. The other benefit is, if Furcal needs rest, he’ll have a capable backup. Assuming, we find and sign a free agent, I think that makes Daniel Descalso expendable. Why would they keep him? If they deem Skip Schumacher expendable, for no good reason, what’s keeping Descalso on the bench?
Here’s my list in no particular order; feel free to comment:
Ryan Adams – He appears to be a true utility infielder. His most recent ML stint was with the Baltimore Orioles as a second baseman. He has bounced from minors to majors over his 5+ year career. He has played over 470 games at second base and a small number at shortstop and third base. His career offensive numbers are: .281 with a .333 OBP and .326 slugging percentage.
Stephen Drew – Drew split time last season with the Oakland Athletics and the Arizona Diamondbacks. His career offensive numbers are: .265 with a .328 OBP and .433 slugging %. The Cardinals have looked at him in the past. He is a true shortstop so; he would have to be transitioned into the utility role.
Drew Sutton – Sutton is another true shortstop whose most recent stint is with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career offensive totals: .256 with a .309 OBP and .399 slugging %. He’s also played less than 150 games at the major league level and would have to be transitioned into the utility role.
My choice if I had to pick today would not be a free agent. It would be Ryan Jackson, who is currently in the Cards’ farm system. We will probably see him this spring, fighting Pete Kozma for playing time. I think Jackson is the better shortstop but, think about this; Jackson as Furcal’s backup and Kolten Wong as the utility man. Ryan Jackson had very good numbers at shortstop with a .287 batting average, .352 OBP and .407 slugging %. Wong had similar stats at the AA level. You can also expect to see him this spring and look for him to be at Memphis if he doesn’t make the team.
Tell me what you think. Who would your choice be? Thanks for reading.