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.

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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.

30 Responses to “The Glaus Question”

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  1. Jim says:

    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.

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    • Joe R says:

      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.

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    • Whateverfor says:

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

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      • Pete says:

        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.

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    • Tom B says:

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

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      • Joe R says:

        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.

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    • JI says:

      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.

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      • BobbyMac says:

        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.

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  2. aj says:

    Could you please add the link to that StL post dispatch article? I couldn’t find it on their website.

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  3. metty5 says:

    Um why don’t they just trade Troy Glaus for another 3B. Maybe to a team who is out of it? They should really call up and offer Glaus straight up for Scott Rol…

    Oh.. never mind. Been there done that.

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  4. The A Team says:

    What about trying to shift Glaus to the keystone to upgrade the lineup? Skip hasn’t exactly been fantastic defensively, so I imagine little would be lost from that end. To keep skip in the lineup (if that’s what they choose to do), they could perhaps try him at 3b while letting him take occasional games at 2b. He could also split time with Ankiel/Duncan neither of whom have been anything to write home about this season. Ankiel at least plays solid defense, but Schumaker plays a decent corner as well.

    I expect there’s a reason this idea wasn’t suggested that I’m overlooking.

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    • Davidceisen says:

      Because the entire article was about how Glaus can’t throw a baseball across the diamond right now, therefore he can’t play 3rd.

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      • The A Team says:

        Obviously I don’t know how Glaus’s arm feels, but ostensibly he could play through some level of pain. As someone with an oft injured arm, I can testify that the difference between the throw from 3rd and from 2nd is substantial in terms of wear and tear.

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  5. The A Team says:

    Another idea. The next article is about Julio Lugo and how the Sox would be willing to deal him and eat most of his contract for a fringe prospect. Would he not be of some service to the Cardinals? And wouldn’t Glaus be more useful to the Sox as a 1b, allowing them to move Youk across the diamond to 3rd?

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    • Judy says:

      Not sure what the Cards could find to do with Lugo, but I bet the Sox would have some interest in Glaus if he can play 1B, although a 1st baseman who everyone knows won’t make any throws can be a liability.

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  6. Davidceisen says:

    Trade Glaus to the Royals for Michael Montgomery. Dayton Moore will do it.

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  7. Bmore says:

    Do the Cardinals have enough to make a run at Brandon Wood? The Angels seem intent on letting him waste away. The asking price may be low.

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  8. Nick says:

    Wouldn’t Pujols’ arm fall of if he played third?

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  9. Ryan says:

    If Albert really approached TLR about moving to third the reason why TLR said no was because it wasn’t in Albert’s best interest. Albert would do anything to help the team win, but moving him to third would risk him doing further damage to his already damaged elbow. I would be 100% against him moving to third. Especially for a guy who has missed all year with shoulder issues and only has one or two hits since starting his rehab assignment in high A ball.

    The A Team- Skip hasn’t “exactly been fantastic” playing 2nd, so why would we move him to third, a more challenging position?

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  10. Ryan says:

    Bmore- I’m not exactly sure about the Brandon Wood situation and what the Angels are doing with him, but I have read they would not involve him in any possible deal for Roy Halladay so I assume they aren’t planning to let him waste away.

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  11. Jonathan says:

    Troy Glaus Had Great Numbers While He (Glaus) Was With The Anaheim Angels
    .330 Batting Average 30 Home Runs 117 RBI As a Angel

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  12. Jonathan says:

    Troy Glaus Isn’t What You Call a Slugger

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  13. Jonathan says:

    What an another Troy Glaus Rap Video Come on He Should Know Not To Imitate
    That Lisa Simpson Rap Video Because If Glaus Does It So Will Lisa Lisa Has Been Talking Some Crap About How Troy Glaus Is a Loser and Not Coordinated That’s True That Doesn’t Mean You Have The Right To Insult Glaus Like That What Is Wrong With You Lisa So Stop Calling Glaus a Retarded Player and Retard That Just Isn’t Right To Me

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  14. dan says:

    Why not play Glaus at second?

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  15. SleepNowInTheFire says:

    I wouldn’t move Albert. Not a chance. If it were David Wright or ARam, sure I’d consider it, but not for Glaus. No way.

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  16. Glaus may play in the outfield?

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