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Lugo shows he's still valuable to the Cardinals

I'm glad to see Julio Lugo off to a good start in spring training.

While some think that the arrival of Felipe Lopez makes Lugo expendable, I disagree. Lopez is a starting player without a position. He'll play a lot in different places. But that doesn't mean there won't be a place for Lugo, who made a big impact when he arrived in trade from the Red Sox last summer.

Lugo is a flexible guy who can come off the bench and play anywhere on the infield. He would be the most seasoned pinch hitter off the bench and he can still offer better than average speed on the bases when you need just one run late in the game.

I would hate to see the Cardinals give up a weapon like Lugo just because they think he wouldn't be happy with the amount of playing time he'll get. We all know that manager Tony LaRussa likes to keep his bench guys fresh and finds a way for them to play a lot.

Obviously it's too early to say that Lugo has won a job with two good games. But it's amazing how quickly a player can get buried in spring training if he gets off to a clunker of a start. So it's up to the veteran infielder not to rest on his laurels and keep the heat on.