The St. Louis Cardinals, having mercifully traded Tyler Greene to Jeff Luhnow and the Houston Astros, called up Ryan Jackson to replace him as the right-handed backup infielder and natural shortstop. The good news: Ryan Jackson isn't, at this writing, quite as unpopular in Busch Stadium as Tyler Greene. The other good news: He's supposedly a very-good-to-excellent shortstop, teleporting around the infield despite possessing none of Greene's standout physical tools.
The bad news: He's probably not going to hit. Jackson's career began with concerns that he'd even manage to slap his way out of the low minors; he put those to rest early, but he makes the leap from AAA to the majors having hit .269/.331/.398 in 483 Memphis plate appearances.
Jackson's got a few secondary skills—he's hit 10 home runs each of the last two years, and he can draw a walk—which give him a little more offensive upside than the usual defense-first empty-average hitter. But for what it's worth, the guy who just got booed out of St. Louis hit .291/.373/.477 in his protracted AAA career.
Stuck at second base and playing rarely, Jackson's not likely to get a fair chance to demonstrate his abilities in 2012. But he hasn't been burned in effigy yet, which is an improvement.