The signing of Paul Goldschmidt has pretty much cemented Jedd Gyorko’s role on the Cardinals as Utility Infielder. This is role that seems to fit the player well; he can technically play all four infield positions. As an everyday shortstop, Jedd were certainly try his best, but it is not exactly anyone’s dream scenario, but having him stand between second and third base once a week to spell Paul DeJong* is fine. Really, the infield is set up well and the depth there is comfortable.
Perhaps that is why Gyorko is willing to learn to play the outfield. Per Mark Saxon of the Athletic:
If the #STLCards don’t trade Jedd Gyorko, he has told manager Mike Shildt he’s ready to play some OF, per John Mozeliak— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) December 11, 2018
It seems a little silly, considering the Cardinals are flush with outfielders, but let’s try to be mature and not immediately dismiss the idea, okay? We can all admit that it does not hurt for a player to develop another skill, right? Gyorko just wants to be a team player and that is admirable. A lot of weird stuff can happen in baseball. It is pretty cool that Gyorko wants to be prepared for those You Cannot Predict Baseball Moments. The key here is that Gyorko is not moving to the outfield - he just wants to add another position to his arsenal.
To be fair, Cardinals fans are probably leery of these stories based on their past trauma. Matt Adams in the outfield was not a highlight. José Martínez at first base was probably an actual physical hazard. The difference is Jedd Gyorko is a second baseman. Presumably someone with the skill to play second base is a better candidate to learn a new position than a player that plays a position lower on the defensive spectrum.
Ideally the biggest difference, though, would be that Mike Shildt would not pencil him in as the everyday left fielder. In the hands of Shildt, a super utility Gyorko wants to become would be a powerful weapon, indeed.
I won’t lie though, my initial reaction was a hallow laugh, but the more I thought about it, the more I can dig it. What is there to lose?
* Are the Pauls the new Matts?
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