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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Is Descalso the New “Secret Weapon”?

On Monday, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wrote Daniel Descalso, a natural second baseman, into his lineup at third base. Regular leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was given the day off.

It marked the fourth consecutive day that Descalso was given a start. That alone was unique, but even more so was the fact that he played each day at a different infield position. It was the first time in team history that a player made consecutive starts at each of the four infield positions.

In fact, since 1980, only five other Cardinals have made starts at all four infield spots anytime during a 162-game season. Not surprisingly, all are middle infielders. After all, it would be a lot easier for a shortstop to play first base than the other way around.

Like Descalso, who also did it in 2012, Felipe Lopez, Miguel Cairo and Jose Oquendo all did it in two different seasons. Hector Luna and David Howard did it once. “The Secret Weapon is the only one to made double-digit quantities of starts at all four positions in the same year.

Courtesy of researcher Tom Orf, here is the list.

St. Louis Cardinals, number of games started, all four infield positions, season, since 1980.

Infielder Year 1B starts 2B starts 3B starts SS starts
Daniel Descalso 2014 1 12 5 9
Daniel Descalso 2012 1 71 16 22
Felipe Lopez 2010 2 21 54 22
Felipe Lopez 2008 1 21 13 3
Hector Luna 2006 4 36 1 8
Miguel Cairo 2003 1 35 4 4
Miguel Cairo 2002 1 9 5 2
David Howard 1999 2 7 3 8
Jose Oquendo 1988 12 24 44 14
Jose Oquendo 1987 1 24 4 12

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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7 Responses to “Is Descalso the New “Secret Weapon”?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Are you serious? The only weapon Descalso is is for the other team.

    At least Oquendo could play some credible defense at those positions. Descalso’s career dWAR is -1.3

    He plays multiple positions allright, all of them badly.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Oquendo was a switch-hitting SS, with a strong throwing arm, but slow runner. He got brought up super young by the Mets and was overmatched. As he grew older, he hit better and played a variety of positions, since Ozzie was lead SS.
    Descalso was 3B in college, but did not have the bat to be a starter. The Cards shifted him to 2B, then were fortunate enough to land Carpenter and Wong too, which moved Descalso back to reserve. He has learned to play SS, but its not a primary position as it was for Oquendo. He is best at 3B/2B, but can play SS as well as Aaron Miles did. Descalso is a useful guy for a roster, since good depth at multiple positions.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Bucs outhit and outhomer Cards, still lose.


  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Good job by Mad Mike to use Neshek instead of Rosenthal, for the save.

    It has to be dis-spiriting for the Rats to lose behind Cole in game 1. Locke walked too many tonite. Tomorrow it will be Vasquez versus our left swingers. Then on to Milwaukee to confront the slumping Brewers. Good times.

  5. blingboy says:

    Grichuk is contributing at the plate so Mike might give him increased playing time. Until Mo trades him to Boston that is.

  6. Bw52 says:

    Grichuk 8 for 20 since his recall.

  7. Bw52 says:

    Wainwright wins in spite of still not being Wainwright.For once MM pulled him before things went bad.Of course with 97 pitchers on the roster MM had options.

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