It seems as if an era has truly come to a close for the Cardinals, as second baseman/outfielder/Tony La Russa affection object Skip Schumaker is going to the Dodgers. In return the Cardinals get minor league infielder Jake Lemmerman, though honestly just about anyone would have likely gotten this deal done. With Schumaker scheduled to make $1.5 million in 2013 and having no role to fill, he seemed destined to end up elsewhere.
Schumaker famously learned how to play second base when TLR asked him to all those years ago, but he certainly never learned how to play it well. Schumaker’s defensive ineptitude is a problem for a utility man; defense is usually a key component desired in a player performing this function. Offensively, Schumaker handles right-handed pitchers fine for a middle infielder even if he doesn’t have any power. Problem is, he doesn’t hit enough to balance out his glove, he can’t even begin to do anything against lefties (career .205/.276/.245 line against them), and teams like their corner outfielders to occasionally produce an extra-base hit.
I don’t want to spend the duration of this post railing against lil’ Jared Schumaker, but I do want to stress that his time in St. Louis had certainly run its course as a baseball player. I’m sure he’s a great guy, but there are other players on the roster who can fill his shoes while remaining younger, cheaper, and better. So good luck, Skip; the team you’re going to now has infinite resources at its disposal and has recently announced plans to build a team water park in the clubhouse. We hear it has an awesome Indiana Jones ride. Hooray!
This Jake Lemmerman fellow, he’ll turn 23 early next season and hasn’t made it out of Double-A so far. He hit .233/.347/.378 in 449 PA last season, a line highlighted by a nifty 11.8% walk rate. Lemmerman isn’t likely to be much of a hitter, and his ceiling is probably that of a utility infielder down the road. Kind of funny considering the man he was traded for, no? At any rate, Lemmerman can come play in Springfield for the Double-A Cardinals and maybe even drop by the official headquarters of StanGraphs while he’s in the area. We’ll have a more comprehensive look at Skipper’s time with the Cardinals later, so stay tuned!