Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Descalso Shines in Games He Starts; in Past 17 Starts, He Is Hitting .387 and Team Has a 16-1 Record

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Descalso Shines in Games He Starts; in Past 17 Starts, He Is Hitting .387 and Team Has a 16-1 Record

Article excerpt

Mike Matheny met with David Freese Tuesday night to make sure he knew why he wouldn't be starting in Wednesday night's game.

It wasn't because Freese hit into three double plays in the Cardinals' 4-2 loss on Tuesday, and not just because he wanted to give his third baseman some rest.

"Trying to find a way to get Danny in the lineup because of what he's done when he's there," Matheny said before Wednesday's game against the Cubs.

"Danny" is Daniel Descalso, the utility infielder who has excelled in his sporadic starting role this season. Wednesday night was no different. Descalso went one for four, adding a tough over- the-shoulder catch in the first inning in only his second start at third base this season.

"We've been talking a lot about Danny and the value he brings to this team," Matheny said following Wednesday's win. "You can only really count on that value when he's used on a consistent basis, or a semi-consistent basis.

"You need to get him some starts and not just some double-switch opportunities. He's deserved that offensively as well as defensively. The play he goes back over his shoulder, that's a tough, tough play that he made look easy. It's nice having those options."

The Cardinals' utility infielder has excelled in the last two months when given an opportunity to start. In 17 starts, he is hitting .387, with two home runs, 13 RBIs, and 14 runs. The team is 16-1 in those starts, with 14 losses in the months of May and June coming when Descalso either pinch-hit or did not play. In 12 pinch- hit at-bats, Descalso is hitting .250, with two runs, two RBIs, and one home run.

This season, he has seen time at second base (22 starts), shortstop (seven starts), and third base (two starts).

"Everybody wants to be an everyday player," Descalso said. "If we didn't, then why bother being here? I've accepted the role that I've sort of fallen in to. Just try to go out there and take advantage of the opportunities I do get."

In 2011, Descalso had the same role, ending the season with a . …

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