The Dodgers acquired Skip Schumaker to be a reserve, but he figures to play often for the team, and at multiple positions.
Schumaker, who was acquired for minor league infielder Jake Lemmerman, in December, returns home to southern California after spending his first dozen years as a professional in the Cardinals organization. He rejoins hitting coach Mark McGwire, who was hitting coach for St. Louis from 2010-2012.
"I've been fortunate enough to work with Mark since 2005, he's a really good guy," Schumaker told Tyler Emerick of MLB.com. "He knows a lot about baseball, the hitting, the techniques, the mental side. There is so much he brings to the table and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. I'm always learning, but 90 percent of what I know is from him."
What Schumaker brings is a left-handed hitter who will occasionally spell Mark Ellis at second base and every once in a while relieve Matt Kemp in center field. Schumaker will also likely split time with Jerry Hairston Jr. in left field should Carl Crawford need to open the season on the disabled list.
Schumaker has an extreme platoon split, as he is a career .305/.359/.403 hitter against right-handed pitchers and just .205/.276/.245 against southpaws. In the last two seasons, 87.6% of his plate appearances have come against right-handed pitchers, so Schumaker has been used the right way.
There have only been seven Los Angeles Dodgers to play at least 10 games in both center field and second base in the same season: Bill Russell (1971), Davey Lopes (1975-76), Derrel Thomas (1980-82), Pedro Guerrero (1980), Juan Samuel (1990), Chad Fonville (1996), and Jolbert Cabrera (2003).
Schumaker graduated from Aliso Niguel High School in nearby Aliso Viejo in 1998. He played both baseball and football, and was named to all-conference, all-county, and all-state teams in baseball.
Schumaker is in the final season of a two-year deal, and will earn $1.5 million in 2013.
|2010 (St. Louis)
|2011 (St. Louis)||31||400||2||34||38||.283||.333||.351||.304|
|2012 (St. Louis)||32||304||1||37||28||.276||.339||.368||.310|
|2013 Projections - Age 33Season|
Schumaker figures to see a lot of time at second base, and it will be interesting to see how many outfield starts he gets. I think Schumaker will hit .276/.335/.371 with 41 starts at second base and 17 more in the outfield.
What is your guess for Schumaker? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, starts at second base and the outfield, and any other thing you wish to guess.