Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

2012 position preview: Second base

Since Skip “Shanks” Schumaker made a manly effort to move rightward on the defensive spectrum three seasons ago, he has manned his position longer than four of the Cardinals’ other positions (shortstop, third base, left field and right field). That Schumaker has held down second base for three straight years is a testament both to the player’s moxie and to the club’s lack of ability or interest to improve at the keystone base.

That will change this year, though, as Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso — and after he returns from his oblique injury, Schumaker — share the job. The latest word from camp is that “Greene looks likely to win second-base job,”¬†although the headline might better read “Greene looks likely to win lead share of second-base job.

As of Wednesday, Descalso had outperformed Greene with the bat, featuring a .467 OBP and .468 SLG to the righty’s .356 OBP and .490 SLG. Those are spring numbers, of course, but the takeaway is that both candidates are giving the team and fans good reason to look forward to the platoon this year. Speaking of platoon, a handedness-based platoon is in order. Although Greene doesn’t have a significant platoon disadvantage — he hits .280 wOBA vs. lefties and .275 vs. righties — Descalso in a limited sample has exhibited a normal disadvantage against southpaws, with a mere .249 wOBA to a .308 wOBA vs. righties.

Rating relative to last year: improved

Comparison within division

Player Team WAR
Rickie Weeks MIL 5.0
Brandon Phillips CIN 4.8
Neil Walker PIT 3.1
Jose Altuve HOU 2.7
Tyler Greene STL 2.4
Darwin Barney CHC 1.6

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