The Cardinals on Tuesday acquired Ryan Theriot from the Dodgers for righty reliever Blake Hawksworth.
Theriot is a .284 lifetime hitter with very little power. According to Baseball-Reference.com, in the history of the major leagues, he’s most comparable in terms of statistics to Aaron Miles.
He’s played 439 of his 652 major league games at short with another 198 at second base. He’s also played a handful of games at third and in the outfield. I expected the Cardinals to do more to improve their middle infield. But Theriot may fill the bill in a sort of roundabout way.
While we were all impressed with Brendan Ryan’s 2009 performance both at the plate and in the field, he dropped off in 2010 under the pressure of handling shortstop on a daily basis. Ideally, I’d like to see Theriot push Ryan to play more focused at both the plate and in the field. Then the newly acquired infielder can play second base and improve the defense there, freeing Skip Schumaker to play in the outfield where he is a defensive plus... And where he, hopefully, will return to his .300 hitting ways.
Theriot has a .348 career on base percentage and has stolen at least 20 bases every season in which he has been a regular, so he could offer some speed at the top of the order the Birds haven’t had for years. But I would still like to see the team do something to increase its thump in the middle of the order.