Descalso Switch

This post won’t try to explain why Mike Matheny insists on subbing Daniel Descalso in late in close games.  But, seeing as Matheny double-switched Descalso in last night, and Daniel got an at-bat, I was curious on his success rate.  To wit:

  • He has finished 15 of the 34 games he’s appeared in; 16/35, counting last night.
  • Four of those games went extras.
  • Six times he pinch-hit.  He’s 4 for 6 in those situations.
  • Ten times he’s come in for defense.  He has 13 plate appearances and is 0 for 11 with two walks.  That previous walk was over a month ago against Chicago(N).
  • The Cardinals almost always lose when he comes in late.  St Louis is 2-14 in games where Descalso comes off the bench and finishes the game.  Overall they’re 14-21 when he makes any appearance.  Don’t worry – they are 3-5 when he starts, so he won’t be starting more.  The rest are pinch-hitting appearances.

He’s a pretty horrible hitter this season, unless he’s pinch hitting.  As a starter he’s hitting .161/.161/.194.  As a sub, he improves to .190/.261/.286.  As a pinch-hitter he’s been pretty good (.333/.385/.500).  Mike should let him PH and then send him out for Ted Drewes or Dominos.

Oh, he’s a defensive specialist?  Not really, not this year.  Overall he’s cost the Cardinals a run – and that includes his stint on the mound.  Last year he saved the club 4 runs while playing third, and cost them 10 runs when playing second or short (Runs Saved comes from Bill James’ Fielding Bible site).

What we have here is a somewhat serviceable back-up third baseman who’s pinch-hitting well so far in 2014.  For the record, in his career he’s a .200/.238/.263 PH in 88 PA, so he’s going to regress.

It’s a good thing this post wasn’t trying to explain why he comes into games late, because based on the above I have no earthly idea.

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