The St. Louis Cardinals traded Skip Schumaker to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jake Lemmerman on Tuesday--that is, agreed to trade one for the other, pending a physical. This won't come as a shock to anybody who's been following baseball closely enough to care about who Jake Lemmerman is, but if you're the one to break the news to your grit-loving aunt or uncle tomorrow, be gentle.
I'm glad it happened, and not just because the Cardinals in their current state need a backup second baseman who is less defensively limited and offensively BAbip-dependent. I'm glad it happened because I'll be able to like Skip Schumaker now that the Cardinals' success isn't contingent on what he can actually contribute.
Now, with the benefit of past tense, we can say, "Hey--remember when Skip Schumaker played second base for the first time in his adult life, learned it while we watched, and put together an almost identical season to the one he had the year before? That was neat."
Because it was neat, whatever havoc it allowed Tony La Russa to wreak on the Cardinals' lineup against left-handed pitching.
As for who Jake Lemmerman is, he's a going-on-24-year-old shortstop who has some nice secondary hitting skills--solid walk rate, some doubles--and strikes out too much. Hitting .233/.343/.378 in AA is worrying; doing it with a BAbip that's almost at .300 is extra-worrying. With Greg Garcia at the same level and Ryan Jackson probably in Memphis, I'm not sure where he fits. But that's what happens when you trade a utility infielder--you get a guy in return who might someday also be a utility infielder.
Further Skip Schumaker links: Over Thanksgiving Chris Lambert blasted me for my Skip-hate; a few days ago Aranathor sent him to Valhalla; in the James Shields thread, tomsteele offers All The Skip Schumaker highlights.