Found January 15, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS Calling second base his spot to lose may be a little much at this point, but it appears Cardinals infielder Tyler Greene will get every opportunity to win a starting spot there this spring.
With the return of Rafael Furcal at shortstop, general manager John Mozeliak said the Cardinals plan to give the 28-year-old Greene plenty of chances to win the competition at second base.
"We do want to see Tyler Greene get a strong opportunity there," Mozeliak told reporters at the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up charity event. "We look at his athleticism and what he's capable of doing, and seeing that for a large volume of 150 games would be quite interesting to us. We just want to see if he's capable of doing it.
"I'm not going to write in concrete today what it's going to look like but I do know we want to give Tyler a very good chance of getting a lot of AB's in 2012."
The Cardinals have already seen Greene for 150 games, but it was spread out over the last three seasons. And in the sporadic playing time since he broke into the big leagues in 2009, Greene has at times appeared uncomfortable and overmatched.
Greene hit .323 at Triple-A Memphis last year with 14 home runs and 19 stolen bases, showing off the potential that has folks excited about his future. But in 58 games with the big league club, he hit just .212 and had a .288 slugging percentage.
For whatever reason, Greene has found much more success in the minor leagues than during his time in St. Louis. The right-handed hitting infielder has a career .218 average in 316 at-bats with the Cardinals and has 87 strikeouts to just 30 walks.
But the Cardinals hope everyday playing time and a fresh start with manager Mike Matheny could be what the talented Greene needs to find success at in the big leagues.
"I think when you look at his athleticism, he's just never really had an opportunity at the major league level to be given that job," Mozeliak said. "And it's understandable because we've always had competitive clubs and players that were playing better at that time. It's just about opportunity and we'll see. Obviously we have 45 days in the spring to sort of work through that and time will tell.
"I definitely think it was an uphill battle for him but I do think people recognized his talent and understood what he was potentially capable of doing. It's a different situation this year. Second base is open and that's where we are going to try and give him a shot."
Dan Descalso and Skip Schumaker figure to get a look at second base this spring as well.
Greene lives near the Cardinals spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla., and has already been working out and taking ground balls at second base. A former Georgia Tech shortstop, Greene hopes to take advantage of the open door at second.
"I'm just making sure I am ready to play," Greene said. "You never know what's going to happen throughout the spring so just come in ready to play. Obviously the idea is to play as much as you can, so that's going to be my mentality in spring training.
"I'm just really trying to find an opportunity wherever it's open. It's an open spot so there's going to be some competition for that spot. Everybody is going to be working towards it and working hard. I'll come in ready to go."
Asked about Matheny and others' belief that his struggles with the big league club came from putting extra pressure on himself to succeed, Greene didn't disagree.
"There were different circumstances," Greene said. "I was out there every day down there (at Triple-A), and up here it was a little bit different of a role. I agree, that's something I am going to have to work out and be as comfortable as possible. If I'm able to do that, I think I'll be fine."
With Greene out of options, he's either got to stick with the big league club out of spring training or risk being claimed off waivers by another club.
It's a make-or-break spring for Greene, but the Cardinals hope he can relax and find what worked for him at Triple-A. And they plan to give him every opportunity to do that.
BEST OF MAXIM
The 19 St. Louis Cardinals players invited to major league spring training camp as non-roster invitees are as follows:
Pitchers (10): Shelby Miller, John Gast, Joe Kelly, Jordan Swagerty, Trevor Rosenthal, Victor Marte, R.J. Swindle, Kevin Siegrist, Nick Greenwood
Catchers: (5): Steven Hill, Koyie Hill, Robert Stock, Cody Stanley, Luis De La Cruz
Infielders (4): Matt Adams, Kolten...
ST. LOUIS Adam Wainwright doesn't figure to tease new teammate Carlos Beltran any time soon about the curveball he looked at for strike three that sent the Cardinals to the World Series in 2006 over Beltran's Mets.
"I may let him bring that up first," Wainwright joked. "I'm sure later on down the road when we get real comfortable with each other, I might...
No St. Louis Cardinals player can be happier to have Carlos Beltran on their side than pitcher Kyle Lohse.
The new right fielder is a .564 career hitter against Lohse with four home runs, six doubles and 12 RBIs. Add in 11 walks and the switch-hitting Beltran has a stunning .647 on-base percentage.
Lohse, a 14-game winner last year, joked at the team's Winter Warmup that Beltran...
ST. LOUIS - Left-handed reliever J.C. Romero had plenty of reasons to be excited when he appeared at the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up charity event Sunday morning.
In addition to making his first public appearance since he signed a one-year deal to join the Cardinals bullpen, Romero spoke at length for the first time since the announcement that his PED lawsuit had been settled...
The Cardinals reached the pinnacle in winning the World Series in 2011. That was followed up by the sobering reality that Albert Pujols would no longer be donning their uniform after signing with the Angels. On the bright side, the team has a number of high ceiling players down on the farm.
Cardinals top 5 fantasy prospects
1- Shelby Miller, SP
Miller has been nothing...
Albert Pujols is long gone, and the St. Louis Cardinals seem just fine about defending their World Series title without him. Their fans, too.
General manager John Mozeliak got a favorable reception at the team's annual Winter Warmup this weekend when he revisited the negotiations. Chairman Bill DeWitt is bullish about the moves made with the Pujols money.
Outfielder Matt Holliday...
Arriving at Spring Training without a defined role is familiar territory for Skip Schumaker, whose versatility has left him shuffled around for years.
World Series champion isn't the only title Jason Motte is set to shoulder in 2012. There's this new closer tag now attached to his name, too.
Lou Brock is part of a St. Louis Cardinals' trilogy, a procession of Baseball Hall of Famers walking through the doors of the Vanderburgh 4-H Center serving as the featured guest for the annual Night of Memories.
10) Does not want to feel self-conscious about his late middle age spread or lack of manscaping9) After so many years in the AFC, really wanted to go to some actual cities on his road games8) Knows that a defense-first .500 record will get him deified in St. Louis and canned in three years in Miami7) Now that Tony LaRussa has left town, he's the sexiest man in town6) At 53, isn...
You've heard it a million times: 'Baseball isn't America's pastime anymore!'It's a completely arbitrary sports talk radio topic and it's probably true. The NFL has surpassed about everything as the standard bearer for entertainment in America. But that doesn't mean that baseball isn't as influential as ever.During some recent time in the airport...
Press interviews from the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up on Monday, January 16.
Press interviews from the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up on Saturday, January 14.