What Does The Future Hold For Schumaker?

What to do with Skip Schumaker? What not to do with him? Both are important questions for the Cardinals this offseason. Since coming onto the scene for the Cardinals in 2005 Skip has done any and all things asked of him by the organization.

Making his way to The Show as an outfielder with a rocket arm Skip saw limited action in ’05 & ’06 totaling only 78 at bats those first two years. Finally in 2007 Skip earned a role as a 4th outfielder and bench player. Rewarding their faith in Skip in return gave the Cardinals a .333 batting average, .358 OBP and a .458 slugging percentage in 188 plate appearances.

This was enough to move him into an everyday role for 2008. Still playing all three outfield positions Skip continued his strong play. In 594 plate appearances Skip showed he could do perform full time delivering with a .302 BA, .359 OBP and 22 doubles and a career high 8 HR’s. To boot, he finished the year with a .990 fielding percentage.

And how was he rewarded for his performance…he was moved to second base. Now asking a 9-year old little leaguer to learn a position is one thing, asking a 28-year old major leaguer to do it is another. He was not moving from left field to right, he was moving from the outfield, in. Skip spent all of spring training 2009 learning to play. He didn’t want to play 2B, but he did want to be a Cardinal. This is what the organization asked and this is what he did.

Skip now in his third season as the Cardinals primary second baseman has continued to deliver. I am not claiming Skip is the second coming of Rogers Hornsby. He is not, but it’s not his fault either. He did not ask to play second base, he did it for the club. Through all the fan, media and blogger criticism he has in fact gotten better.

After a dip in 2010, the only time as a regular player his average fell below .300 Skip is back at his career averages. Coming last night’s Brewers tilt he was batting .302 and his OBP back up to .346. Perhaps most impressive, his fielding percentage as a second baseman is at a career high in 2011 at .985.

Skip is a valuable weapon in Tony LaRussa’s arsenal and will be for TLR or whoever is sitting in the manager chair in 2011. In a step to raise his value even more Skip took to the mound this year. Striking out two in his one inning and showing off that arm for the radar gun.

My point is this. You do not need to pay Skip Schumaker $5 million a year. But you do not, you cannot let him walk away.

As usual these are just my thoughts…keep on reading and you’ll get up to speed.

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