JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) By Mike Ehrmann
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) By Mike Ehrmann
By KMOV Web Producer
(Baseball StL)--The Cards do battle with the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium this afternoon. After today, there are just 3 more Grapefruit League games to be played. Lance Lynn heads to the hill for the start as he keeps Chris Carpenter's seat in the rotation warm (something he'll probably have to do for quite a while).
Here's today's lineup:
1) Daniel Descalso - 2B
2) Carlos Beltran - RF
3) Matt Holliday - LF
4) Lance Berkman - 1B
5) David Freese - 3B
6) Yadier Molina - C
7) Jon Jay - CF
8) Rafael Furcal - SS
9) Lance Lynn - P
Relieving Lynn will be Mark Rzepczynski, Scott Linebrink, Kyle McClellan and Victor Marte.
It's my belief that at some point this season (it may not be till the very end) this will be your lineup for the Cardinals.
The team won't say it. The team wants Rafael Furcal to leadoff (largely based on his salary and veteran status) and Tyler Greene to play second base everyday. But what this club needs more than anything else is someone to hit 1st and give tough at-bats. And no one does that better than Daniel Descalso. He has good ABs on a more consistent basis than Greene anyday of the week...and Furcal hasn't been getting on base enough the last couple seasons (while also dealing with injuries.)
If Furcal is producing a low .300 on-base percentage Mike Matheny won't hestitate to drop him to 8th in the batting order. If that's the case, who do you want leading off? A swing-and-miss guy like Tyler Greene or a scrappy competitor who gives tough ABs regularly like Descalso.
Plus, defensively Greene is not as consistent as Descalso. So, it's just a matter of time before that change happens. Right now, the Cards are blinded by the fact Tyler Greene is bigger, stronger and faster than Descalso. That's fine. The same thing happened with Jon Jay and Colby Rasmus in center. Rasmus was bigger, stronger and faster so they gave him every opportunity to win the job. It took a while, but finally they realized that Jay is simply a better player.
The same thing will happen with Descalso at 2nd. They'll finally realize despite Greene's size and speed, Descalso is simply a better baseball player. And they'll need him to leadoff everyday.