St. Louis Cardinals: Is Tyler Greene Finally Living Up to His Potential?

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IMay 31, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 29:  Tyler Greene #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals scoops up a ground ball hit by Martin Prado #14 of the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Turner Field on May 29, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tyler Greene has been playing better for the St. Louis Cardinals the past few weeks than he has ever played in his career. 

For the season, he’s hit four home runs and has 14 RBI. In his last 10 games, he has three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs.

He’s also playing some pretty slick defense at second base and is always a threat on the basepaths.

So, is he finally living up to the potential that he’s shown in the minor leagues? His potential is the only reason the Cardinals haven’t cut him or traded him yet.

While his performance over the last few weeks has been brilliant at times, it’s important to note that he’s still only hitting .227 for the year.

If he were really turning a corner, one would think that he’d be getting on base more consistently.

If his average doesn’t start going up soon, manager Mike Matheny will have a hard time justifying the continued playing time Greene continues to receive. 

For example, when Jon Jay comes off the disabled list soon, Skip Schumaker could be a candidate to move back to second base. Schumaker doesn’t have as much power as Greene, but he’s hitting .321 this season and has 12 RBIs.

Another option at second base, when healthy, would be Allen Craig. By putting Craig at second, the Cardinals would be sacrificing a little bit defensively but would be getting a huge upgrade offensively.

That’s especially true since moving Craig to second base would allow Matt Adams to stay in the lineup at first base.

Therefore, Greene is going to need to start getting on base more consistently if he’s going to stay in the lineup on a consistent basis.

It’s been nice to see him playing with a lot more confidence and coming through in more clutch situations, but he still has more to prove. 

The clock is ticking. Soon, players will start returning from the DL, and Matheny will have some tough decisions to make. Greene can make one of the decisions a lot tougher if he starts hitting for a higher average.