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Cardinals likely to start Daniel Descalso at 2B in 2012

Nov 13, 2011, 2:32 PM EDT

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According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Saturday that Daniel Descalso is likely to open the 2012 season as the club’s starting second baseman.

Descalso batted .264/.334/.353 with one home run, 20 doubles and 28 RBI in 375 plate appearances this year, making 61 starts at third base, 11 starts at shortstop and nine at second. The athletic 25-year-old has a plus arm and good range, and should be able to meet expectations defensively while growing into an adequate performer at the plate.

In 425 minor league games, Descalso was a .276/.347/.406 hitter and tallied 27 home runs.

The news likely means that Skip Schumaker, who made $2.7 million in 2011, will be non-tendered this winter. If the Cardinals do decide to bring him back, he’ll function as a super utilityman.

  1. EK Ohio - Nov 13, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Hey! Go UC Davis Aggies!

  2. hushbrother - Nov 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    In a World Series with many heroes perhaps the most unsung clutch play was Descalso’s base hit leading off the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6. One could argue it was as big a hit as Berkman’s later that inning. Had he (and the next batter, Jon Jay) not reached, the Cardinals’ hopes would have rested on the pitcher (thanks to senile LaRuss) batting with two outs.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Man Hush…I was on the verge on giving you a Thumbs up until you took a shot at the WS winning Manager. He off the million wins and hundreds of playoff appearances.

  3. 78mu - Nov 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Well, someone has to hit 8th. Unless the new manager can do a La Russa and bat the pitcher 8th and DD ninth.

    Hopefully this will at least mean Freese won’t be coming out in the 8th inning for a defensive replacement.

  4. okwhitefalcon - Nov 13, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I like Descalso although I find it a bit silly the GM is declaring him the starting 2nd baseman for 2012 in November of 2011 with no onfield manager named and the greatest player of his generation out fielding offers from other teams.

    I’m all for Mo shaping the roster but first things first.

  5. paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    I think people are reading too much into the comments. The Cardinals have never negotiated in the press, and they sure as heck aren’t going to be declaring needs in the press either….there is just no reason to give a player more leverage than they already have (or think they have).

    Similar to the Pujols deal…they are simply not going to say anything of substance to the press…and really, there is no reason to offer Pujols more than $210M if no other team is going to come close to offering that….and it is likely that no one will….Pujols likely has 3-4 more good/great years left, then a stead decline….the last year of a 9 yr deal he will be 40 yrs old….if Pujols wants to know when he’ll be over-paid to account for being underpaid the last 10 years….it’ll be years 5-9 of that 9 yr deal….$210M for whatever Pujols has left is already an over-pay, easily justifiable for the Cardinals…not so much for any other team.

    • spudchukar - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:18 PM

      Betting against Pujols is not a place I want to go. He continues to amaze. His early season troubles were not due to the aging process. My guess is that he has 5 more years in him similar to his lifetime stats and then perhaps slight decrease, like .285, 35 HR, and 100 RBI’s in 2020, when similar 1B occupiers will be hauling in 30 mil for similar numbers.

      Generally, the Cards are tight-lipped to the press regarding contracts etc, which is a good thing. However, anointing Descalso, who has a bright future serves what purpose? An excuse for low-balling Schumaker, or not re-signing Punto.

      Here is what I am afraid of: Mo and De trying to capitalize on the WS win with an agenda of their own. Neither knows much about the game, nor does Lud. Over and over PL, I heard you profess that TLR was instrumental in player procurement, and I am certain he had a large hand in the late season acquisitions.

      By capitalizing, I am referring to their need to create an imprint on the current roster so that it is a reflection of their player procurement skills. Descalso, has promise, but whether or not he is a legitimate, full-time second sacker is questionable. He hasn’t shown the ability to hit lefties, and his one great strength, his arm, is diminished at 2B.

      Watching Punto, who admittedly has been injury prone, play 2B, is eye-popping. If we fail to resign Furcal, which my gut tells me, the frugal, yet enriched management will lean toward, I would like to see a combo of Punto, Descalso, Greene, and yes probably even Schumaker, rotated much like TLR did in the middle IF.

      Certainly it is early, and I can be criticized of jumping to conclusions with only a little info, but so far, the initial indications are troubling. Here’s hoping I am wrong.

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 7:47 PM

        I am with you 100% on wanting them to address SS. If Furcal can be had for 2 yrs at a decent rate…there is no excuse for not doing it. The Cardinals have a LOT of utility IF types….Punto, Descalso, Greene, Theriot, Skip….they don’t need all of those guys….obviously, Theriot is the worst of the bunch…Greene has been great in AAA, but never had a chance in the majors…maybe he can be a decent fill-in…maybe he can’t…but in the last 4 years, he hasn’t really had a chance. To me, Punto and Skip are fungilble, and not better than Descalso or Greene…no need to keep all those guys around…but NONE of them feels like a solid regular MIF to me.

        I am trying not to jump to conclusions about Mo and what he wants to do. Obviously, DeWitt has the final say on contract offers….I haven’t seen anything from Mo that makes me think he has so much ego that he has to make a lot of changes….while there is no question that TLR had significant input into roster moves/composition, there is also no question that Mo and Lunhow had a lot to do with it as well…as anyone that came up through the system or that was acquired via the trade of prospects are essentially Cardinals because of those guys….to me, it is mostly already Mo’s roster…so there is no need to think he wants to remake anything…he’s even said he doesn’t see many changes.

        I am not betting against Pujols, just betting on time. Look at the fall off of pretty much every single star once they hit 35. ARod can talk about returning to form all he wants….37 yr old guys almost never play like they did when they were 32, which doesn’t mean he (or AP) won’t be good players at that age…just that they will not be productive enough to justify their salaries.

        The Cardinals can certainly afford to overpay Pujols by more than their (alleged) current offer…and there is no guarantee that they’ll spend that money elsewhere…and I really hope they resign him and make him a Cardinal for life, he is one of those very rare players that can define the generation of a franchise….but in the end, a franchise just can’t make it known (even if it is true) that they will do whatever it takes to lock up a player.

  6. cintiphil - Nov 13, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    I haven’t seem much of the guy, but see that he is a good defensive player who doesn’t hit well. If his “D” is that good, you can live with a .225-,240 hitting guy at second. But, when you lose Albert, there had better be a guy who can hit .320-.340 at first, to make up for the guy at second.

  7. cintiphil - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    The first comment to make actually is how do people know who is going to start at any position before Matheny takes over. Did he already make up his mind? Did anyone even talk to the new manager, or does he not have anything to say about it? I think everyone has to wait until Spring training.

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