St. Louis Cardinals Rookie Preview: Nick Stavinoha
With Cesar Izturis going on the 15-day DL this weekend, the Cardinals called-up Nick Stavinoha from AAA Memphis, primarily to DH during the current AL road trip. He got one hit in five at-bats in his debut in Boston, but was robbed of a second hit by Coco Crisp.
"Stavi" as he is called in Memphis, was leading the team with a .349 average so far this season, with 10 HR and 50 RBI. He has played in the outfield and at first, but doesn't necessarily have the power generally associated with those two spots on the diamond.
His defense isn't great, so he is actually perfect for the DH role that he will be filling during this current road trip. You also might see him play some first base if Chris Duncan continues to struggle.
At the age of 26, he is no longer really a prospect, but more of a floater between the minors and bigs. He definitely is too good to be at Memphis, but probably isn't good enough to merit consistent playing time in the MLB.
Obviously nobody has seen much of him thus far, but I'll go ahead and compare him to John Mabry in the later stages of his career. At his peak, Mabry hit over .300 and played good defense. Later in his career, Mabry pinch-hit and started rarely. That's where Stavi might contribute to a club. Pinch hitting and depth.
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