St. Louis Cardinals utility man Daniel Descalso is quietly having a good season

Denis Poroy

Last night's go-ahead double was another hit in Descalso's strong start to the 2013 campaign.

After performing solidly as the St. Louis Cardinals' utility man during the 2011 World Series championship run, Daniel Descalso won the job of starting second baseman in 2012. However, Descalso didn't take to starting at the keystone. His offensive production sagged so badly that manager Mike Matheny gave 2012 utility man Matt Carpenter an offseason homework assignment: learn second base. Carpenter won the starting job in spring training, relegating Descalso to the bench. This development has proven to be a tremendous positive for Carpenter, Descalso, and the Cardinals.

The season is still relatively young and Descalso's part-time role makes his plate appearance total even smaller. Nonetheless, he has performed quite well at the bat so far this year. After Descalso's .227/.303/.324 2012, his batting in 2013 has been a pleasant surprise.

DANIEL DESCALSO 2013 STATS

PA

R

HR

RBI

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

wOBA

wRC+

124

18

3

21

.268

.331

.438

.769

.170

.332

113

Descalso's average has helped boost his entire line. His .279 BABIP in 2012 has evened out and sits at .307 for 2013. Once again, Descalso's walk rate is slightly above 8 percent once again. However, the biggest difference this year has been Descalso's power.

In 2011, Descalso slugged .353 with a .089 Isolated Power (ISO). Last year, Descalso posted a .324 SLG and .096 ISO. This year, Descalso's SLG is .438 and his ISO is .170. Descalso has rapped out quite a few doubles and dingers. So many, in fact, that his ISO is higher than many of his burlier teammates: Allen Craig (.134), David Freese (.104), Yadier Molina (.139).

Descalso's batting line had taken a hit before he dug into the Great American Ballpark batter's box in the tenth inning of last night's game against the Reds. Descalso had gone 0-for-6 in his previous half-dozen PAs. Nonetheless, he lifted a flyball to left field. What looked initially like a routine fly out carried, carried, and carried some more in the Cincinnati night and bounced off the wall. Descalso's double plated Craig, who led the inning off with a walk. It was a nice moment for the Redbirds' former starting second baseman and currently thriving utility man.

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