Let me start by saying, as a Chicago Cubs fan, I’m happy to have Skip Schumaker out of the division. However, I feel the St. Louis Cardinals made a big mistake trading this guy to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It seems like manager Mike Matheny had a personal grudge against Schumaker for some reason; I mean, this was the guy who had a huge role in helping the Cardinals get to the 2011 World Series. He’s a great utility player who can play in the outfield, second base or be a late-game substitute as a pinch-hitter. He has a career batting average of .288 with an OBP of .345. To top it off, Schumaker puts the bat on the ball consistently, having a max of only 69 strikeouts in any single season of his career, which came when he played 153 games in 2009.
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Schumaker has played in eight major league seasons, all with the Cardinals, and he’s played a key role as a utility guy for this team since becoming an everyday player in 2008; that is until he was replaced by Daniel Descalso this season leading up to the playoffs. Descalso hit just .227 this season with an OBP of .303 with the Cardinals, but maybe the front office sees something in him that I don’t. It could be a good move for Schumaker; maybe it means he will actually get a chance to play every day for L.A., which is a very serious contender in the NL West.
It’s not like the Cards were getting rid of Schumaker as a salary dump, as he just make $1.5 million in 2012 — far less than many second basemen in the majors. And they traded him for a minor league infielder named Jake Lemmerman, who hit just .233 for the Dodgers’ double-A squad in Chattanooga. Sounds to me like they were just trying to get rid of Schumaker, and it didn’t really matter who they traded him for. Now, who knows, Lemmerman could end up being the next Derek Jeter, but I just don’t understand the Cardinals logic in trading a solid and likeable player like Schumaker for an unproven minor leaguer like Lemmerman, who hasn’t exactly been lighting it up in the minors.
But the way I see it, it could be a win-win for me, a good move for a likeable guy like Schumaker and a good move for the Cubs to get him out of the division. Personally, I hope Schumaker lights it up in 2013; that would just be the icing on the cake for me.