St. Louis Cardinals Rumors: Rafael Furcal Might Not Be Back After All

The St. Louis Cardinals ended the 2011 World Series with Rafael Furcal as the latest patch on a rough year at shortstop, but despite some immediate rumors to the contrary they might not begin the 2012 regular season with him standing there. Even after Albert Pujols's departure to the Angels, General Manager John Mozeliak has suggested that the Cardinals could stand pat with little-used first-rounder Tyler Greene as the likely starter in April of 2012.

Which would be great, if you like tools—Greene has the power to hit long home runs and more speed than anyone else in the system, which he combines with outstanding baserunning instincts. But he also has holes in his swing he's been unable to cover up in his limited Major League stints. He's an interesting guy as a utility infielder who might excel when pressed into more—but it would be a risk to put him in the Opening Day order, rather than as a first line of defense when Furcal's inevitable injury problems crop up.

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