Nick Punto Spring Training's First Casualty

I guess it's better for Nick Punto to fall apart now—he's out 6-8 weeks with a sports hernia—than to present us and the St. Louis Cardinals with a few months of Felipe Lopez-caliber performance before giving up the ghost, but it's rarely good when one of the team's major depth acquisitions goes down before Spring Training even confirms he's in the Best Shape of His Life. 

↵

Punto's disappearance is good news, if nothing else, for Tyler Greene, former first-rounder and great toolsy hope at shortstop. Greene is excellent at almost every baseball skill; he's got an incredible arm, great range, outstanding speed and baserunning abilities, and surprising home run power. Unfortunately, he can't make contact with the ball on a consistent basis. At 27 he's yet to prove himself on a consistent basis in St. Louis, but as the top defensive option on the bench and Tony La Russa's latest center field experiment he should have his best chance yet to stick. 

↵

After all, in 2009 Brendan Ryan was just a 27-year-old utility infielder stuck behind Khalil Greene. That's right: Two years from now, Greene could be lucky enough to get jobbed in the Gold Glove vote and then dumped for a non-prospect so that the Cardinals can start a second-second baseman at shortstop. I dream big. 

↵

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.