When the Cardinals signed Nick Punto in January, his main role was to back up third just in case the delicate butterfly wishes holding the ankles of David Freese together abruptly failed. It was almost a given that Punto would be playing instead of Freese, who could, at any moment, drop a weight on himself and be out for a month.
Surprise! It was announced this afternoon that Punto would be returning to St. Louis to have his sports hernia surgically repaired. He’ll be out eight to ten weeks. Yippee.
So what does this mean for the rest of the team? Well, for starters, this gives Tyler Greene the opportunity of a lifetime. The young infielder has had only brief chances to play under the heavy hand of Herr LaRussa, and Greene shot himself in the foot every time by playing like a confused third grader. The offensive promise he shows in the batting cages at Louisville never seems to materialize in the bigs.
If Der Fuhrer decides to avoid using Greene (a distinct possibility), then, according to LaRussa himself, the next candidate would be Allen Craig. This would be most welcome – supposedly Craig can actually hit if he’s given more than three at bats a week – but I wouldn’t count on it. HAHAHA … but it sure was fun to imagine, right?!? Instead, I guess we’ll be seeing well-traveled veteran (shudder) Ramon Vazquez (signed to a minor league contract) in the starting role at third. I might actually appreciate this, since it will give me something to bitch about on a semi-regular basis.
For everyone’s sake, I hope trainer/masochist Gene Gieselmann (aka Josef Mengele) has some heavy packing tape ready to keep Freese on the field as long as possible.