Skip Schumaker started two games at second base in the Cardinals’ NLDS defeat of the Phillies, going 6-for-10 in that five-game series.
But Schumaker missed the NLCS due to an oblique strain and is on the bench for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night in St. Louis.
According to beat writer Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the media on Wednesday at Busch Stadium that Schumaker is being viewed as more of a fourth outfielder than a second baseman in this seven-game Fall Classic against the Rangers.
He’ll fill the role left vacant by Adron Chambers, who was left off the Cardinals’ World Series roster.
Nick Punto is St. Louis’ best defensive option at second base. And if La Russa wants to switch things up, he’s likely to try Ryan Theriot next. Schumaker, despite his quick recovery, will strictly be a bench guy.
Of course, La Russa could always change his mind mid-series, rendering this entire post moot.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.