As I sip a cup of hot delicious coffee, I make a declaration….
Set Daniel Descalso free, John Mozeliak. As my Arch City colleague Stephen Nations urged Cardinal Nation this morning to lay off Jon Jay, I am going to alert the same group of people that it’s time to cut Dirty Dan,the beloved utility man, loose. His spot on this team doesn’t exist any longer and all he is doing is taking up space. Mozeliak can option Descalso or just designate him for assignment. One is a temporary move that only leads to the next for a player like Descalso. This is similar to the Ty Wiggington situation on 2013’s club. On first glance, that would be heavily denied by most fans and scribes….until you had a chance to look at the stats.
Ask yourself this. What good is Descalso doing for this team? If the answer is ground out a ton of second base, lace the occasional line drive or strike out to go, you are on to something. If the answer is provide bad overall value in the categories of WAR, DRS and UZR, then you are even more right on. Descalso offers the Cards little these days and his production is so fleeting you may need to go back into 2013’s game log to find it. In 60 at bats, Descalso is hitting .167 and has an OPS of .435. For the uninitiated sabermetrics crowd, that means if you combined Descalso’s on base percentage and his slugging percentage, he doesn’t crack .450. That’s just wrong. Pete Kozma provided more offense than Descalso is giving right now and Pete also gave a lot better defense.
Cardinal Nation will be divided on this topic. There will be plenty of DD faithful who will throw stones at me. These are the same people who don’t look at player stats and provide sound judgement in an argument. If you cornered a Descalso fan on Twitter and made them state their case, the legend of Dirty Dan greatness from the 2012 playoffs will surface. They will sandwich in David Freese highlights as well. With Descalso, the best of times are behind us. He is useless.
His defense at third base, shortstop and second base is below average. His bat isn’t respectable. You can’t tell me Mark Ellis or Jhonny Peralta could slide over to third base if Matt Carpenter was injured or there was a need. I’ll bet three cups of delicious coffee, some fine barbecue and a rib that Ellis makes 10 great plays at third base before Descalso makes 5.
Let me add that Descalso’s career high WAR(wins above replacement)was 0.5 in 2011. His current WAR is -0.4. It’s just ugly folks.
Trust me, Mike Matheny has already “disliked” this post. Descalso is one of his guys and this will be hard for the manager, who I don’t want to see get fired unlike other Cards fans. Matheny carries a bit of romance when it comes to his roster makeup. A little bit of fatherly pride when it comes to certain players. This isn’t a coach having to make a tough decision. This is a man having to finally put his lovely favorite lamb out of its misery.
Descalso is a scrappy utility guy who seems somewhat useful until you go to Baseball reference, Fangraphs or any other site with stats and see he isn’t useful at all. One can reference a regular baseball card to assess most of Descalso’s lack of value.
Folks, it’s time. Matt Adams is coming back. Young outfielders are coming up. Greg Garcia can get some useful at bats in the Descalso position on the roster. The time to be nostalgic has passed.
Let’s set Daniel Descalso free.