The Glaus Question

The Cardinals have a question to answer. What in the world are they going to do with Troy Glaus? The big slugger is a week into a twenty day rehab assignment in the minors and should be cleared to play by August. With Cardinal third-sackers combining for a pathetic .275 wOBA, you would expect that getting back a hitter like Glaus would be welcome news.

Unfortunately for St. Louis fans, Glaus can’t throw across the diamond without experiencing pain in his right shoulder. Swinging the bat is another thing, but that doesn’t seem to help the Cardinals. Well, that is unless they would consider some outside-the-box thinking, like say switching Pujols and Glaus to opposite sides of the diamond. Otherwise, Glaus will be limited to being one expensive pinch-hitter.

Let’s consider the crazy, um, I mean creative side for minute. Early in his career, Pujols played 96 games at the hot corner. According to UZR, he was worth -4 runs per 150 games; not great but by no means damaging given his numinous bat. While that was years ago, checking the results of Tango’s Scouting Report by the Fans, Pujols’ instincts and hands are nigh impeccable, both desirable traits in a third baseman. On the other hand, his arm strength rates as below-average, which is of course is less than what you would like. For what little it might be worth, based on his different grades for the various fielding skills, both Eric Chavez and Mike Lowell pop up in Albert’s similarity scores. So we know that Pujols is an elite defender at first, and chances are he could hold down the fort at third base just fine for the next few months.

Aside from limiting Glaus to pinch-hit duty, the other option would be trading him to an American League team looking for a DH, such as Detroit. This would most likely mean the Cardinals would have to eat most of the remaining $6 million left on his contract and getting little in return.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pujols unselfishly asked to play third, but his manager dismissed the idea. Tony LaRussa is built his reputation as someone who will toy with lineups in order to gain even the slightest advantage, but doesn’t want to tinker with Albert. I definitely can understand the reticence when it comes to dealing with his superstar, but it seems to me that moving him to third for two months is hardly as big of deal as it initially appears to be. Considering the Cardinals have long been trolling the trade market looking to add a bat, giving away a Glaus for nothing would be a waste.





Erik Manning is the founder of Future Redbirds and covers the Cardinals for Heater Magazine. You can get more of his analysis and rantings in bite-sized bits by following him on twitter.

newest oldest most voted
Jim
Guest
Jim

Pujols has an elbow ligament that could go ‘sproing’ at any time and will need surgery at some point. That is why TLR would not want him to play 3B.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R

Exactly.
I think if Pujols was able to play 3rd without a risk and the Cards could bring in any old schmuck to play 1st, they’d’ve done it by now.

Whateverfor
Guest
Whateverfor

huh, I thought he had that surgery last offseason, but apparently that was nerve surgery on the same elbow.

Pete
Guest
Pete

He had an ulnar nerve transposition something or other…basically a Ortho went in and moved some stuff around. His problem is bigger than that because his UCL has significant tearing and fraying and needs TJ surgery. The other thing was a “help the symptoms” cure, but didn’t change the root problem.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B

this is exactly why they moved pujols to 1B to begin with.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R

Or they can put him in Left Field with a nagging arm injury that could potential ruin his career for intimidation.

Buzz Bissinger may write another book in praise of it.

JI
Guest
JI

Yeah, I thought Pujols has had problems throwing since 2003 (which may be why he was used at second in an emergency situation last year instead of third) and a move across the diamond or to the OF could be detrimental to his health.

BobbyMac
Guest
BobbyMac

Pujols’ arm was so messed up in 2003, that when he was playing the outfield, he’d have to toss the ball underhanded to another outfielder to get it back in. If “Three Nights in August” is to be believed, TLR was reallly stressing over the risks he was taking with Albert’s health that season.

Glaus hit well in 2008, but jumping through hoops to upgrade from one of Schumaker (with DeRosa playing 2b) or DeRosa to Glaus just doesn’t make sense to me. The gain would be marginal, at best. IMO, he’s a PH/backup 1b at this point.