The Los Angeles Dodgers, after much half-interested speculation, traded for Skip Schumaker on Tuesday, leaving the St. Louis Cardinals without their fan-favorite second baseman and the Dodgers with--well, with a lot of utility infielders. Along with former Cardinal Nick Punto, the Dodgers are carrying veteran utility-man Jerry Hairston and surprise third base starter Luis Cruz. So where will Schumaker play?
The True Blue LA commenters are trying to figure it out, and from what they've said it looks like he might play more than you'd think. For all their astounding offseason spending, the Dodgers' infield is not especially stacked; their starting second baseman is the injury-prone Mark Ellis, and their starting third baseman is Cruz, a 29-year-old who'd previously failed to crack the Pittsburgh Pirates' bench, and whose breakout 2012 season looks a lot like a really good Skip Schumaker year.
He could even get some time in center, too--this is a team that gave Tony Gwynn, Jr., 277 plate appearances last year. Deployed judiciously, Schumaker is a useful bench bat. Surprisingly enough, the team whose implicit mission seems to be breaking the $300 million payroll barrier could be just the team to give him that role. (Meanwhile, the Cardinals will have to figure out just who they have in new arrival Jake Lemmerman.)