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Skip Schumaker diagnosed with torn oblique muscle

Mar 19, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

Skip Schumaker AP

An MRI exam revealed that Skip Schumaker has a torn right oblique muscle, making it all but certain that he’ll begin the season on the disabled list.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals won’t have a timetable for his return until getting more information tomorrow, but general manager John Mozeliak admitted that it’s “highly unlikely” Schumaker will be on the Opening Day roster.

And considering how even minor oblique injuries tend to linger, a tear could easily sideline Schumaker for much of April.

Schumaker was slated to be used primarily in the outfield, so Shane Robinson, Matt Carpenter, and Adron Chambers are the leading in-house options to replace him and Rule 5 pick Erik Komatsu could also get a look.

  1. salvomania - Mar 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Too bad for Skip, these injuries can linger. He’s a great fourth outfielder and his passable D at 2b makes him a useful guy to have around.

    On the plus side, this will result in some of the younger guys getting extended looks and more playing time.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Mar 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    It definitely limits their lineup versatility.

    Nothing that can’t be overcame though, they’ve got a few more interchangeable parts that can hopefully step up.

  3. paperlions - Mar 19, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Matt Carpenter is a better player anyway. Far better hitter, came up through the system as a 3B and has been playing some OF…so he can be used in a similar role to Skip…only he has great OB skills and more power.

  4. spudchukar - Mar 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    It is always difficult to bench Schumaker. He is such a quality guy; versatile, smart, and tough. That said, this is a real chance for Descalso, Greene, Carpenter, and/or Komatsu to seize the opportunity. Good play now, could relegate Skippy to a reserve role, where he is most equipped to help the Cards.

    • paperlions - Mar 19, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      It shouldn’t be hard to bench him. For the last 2 years he has been bad at baseball, bad in the field, bat at the plate, bad on the bases. His power it totally gone along with 30 pts of OBP. His glove isn’t plus anywhere and his highly negative anywhere his bad would play.

      • okwhitefalcon - Mar 19, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        He’s a bench/utility guy at this point, prob shoulda been that from the get go I suppose.

        The organization obviously trusts him moreso than a few of the other younger options, they wouldn’t have given him 2 years if they had any faith in the alternatives which is telling.

      • salvomania - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        Come on, Schumaker is perfectly decent in his role. He shouldn’t be a full-timer, and he’s not. He started 89 games at 2b last year, and also provided backup at all three outfield spots.

        That’s a role player, mostly at a position that doesn’t feature a huge bat—the average NL 2b had a .699 OPS, Schumaker had a .685 OPS, but with a better-than-average on-base percentage.

        I think we all agree that a team could do better than Skip as a starter, but most teams would love to have a bench guy like Schumaker.

      • paperlions - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        Skip’s problem is that he is below average no matter where you play him…his bat could play at 2B, but his defense there is horrible. He can play average defense in the OF, but he would be one of the worst hitting OFers in the game. He has some skills, but as a package, they don’t add up to a guy that should get more than a couple of hundred ABs/year.

        The Cardinals recognized that he would need to man a more valuable defensive position in order to be a useful player, but he can’t….he can stand at 2B, but he just gives away runs while he’s there.

  5. okwhitefalcon - Mar 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Carpenter may be the guy that’ll benefit, I’m not quite ready to conclude him being a better player than Schumacher yet – gotta see him at the big league level for an extended stay first and see if he can step up when called upon.

    If he can play third worth a lick (I’ve got no idea) he may see some late inning work when they pull Freese if Descalso is in at second if/when Greene can’t be trusted. He’s not going to get the late inning OF action Skip would so that may leave a shot for Adron Chambers or Komatsu.

    Bottom line is they have options, we’ll know who takes advantage of the opportunity soon enough.

    I

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