With Ellis active, and able and willing to play second and third base, opportunities for Descalso will become even fewer and more far between.
And that is a good thing in this fan's eyes.
In fact, it prompts a conversation as to which situations it would be best to utilize Descalso, which causes me to ask the question, what does Descalso do well?
Lets take a look.
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Yes, the open space was put there for effect. Call it a metaphor, or symbolism or whatever the hell you want.
The point is, of course, is that Descalso really does not do anything well.
Let's actually break it down this time.
Can Descalso hit for average? Answer: not really. Descalso hit just .227 in 2012 and followed that up with an outstanding .238 in 2013. Part of that abysmal 2013 performance was due to Descalso hitting just .199 after the all-star break. That is two years of awful performance at the plate.
Can Descalso hit for power? Answer: No. Descalso has 10 home runs in over 1,000 career plate appearances. His career .651 OPS screams of a fringe MLB-player. Descalso has 58 career doubles, which is not bad, but for comparison sake, Matt Carpenter had 55 doubles just last season.
Does Descalso have speed? Answer: Nope. Descalso has just 15 stolen bases in 434 career games, so there is no speed element there at all.
Is Descalso a good pinch hitter? Answer: Not at all. In fact, Descalso is a terrible pinch hitter. The Cardinals may be better off using decent hitting pitcher Adam Wainwright then Descalso off the bench (or maybe let Trevor Rosenthal hit for himself with the winning run at second at some point down the line) (that was a joke, of course). In 78 career plate appearances as a pinch hitter, Descalso has .169 batting average with a .414 OPS. Awful.
Is Descalso a "clutch" hitter? Answer: He's better then he normally is, but still not great. With runners in scoring position, Descalso has a .248 career average, but with two outs in those situations he has a .217 average. In late innings situations (innings seven through nine), Descalso has hit just .224 with a .605 OPS.
Is Descalso a good defensive second baseman? Answer: Nope. Descalso's career UZR/150 as a second baseman is -5.6. He is easily third in line at this position, behind Wong and Ellis
Is Descalso a good defensive shortstop? Answer: Absolutely not. Descalso is not good and really not even adequate as a shortstop, posting a career UZR/150 of -19.8 at the position. Yet, he is the team's only option to backup Jhonny Peralta on the current 25-man roster.
Is Descalso a good defensive third baseman? Answer: Not really. He is an average defensive third baseman, but hardly spectacular. His career -3.0 UZR/150 (still a negative number folks) reflects this.
So there you have it. The answers to the question "What does Daniel Descalso do well?"
Based on these answers, Descalso should be used very, very sparingly.
And why the heck is he making over one million dollars?