|Despite already having a crowded bench, the Dodgers didn’t let redundancy stand in the way of acquiring 32-year-old second baseman/outfielder Skip Schumaker from the Cardinals. Los Angeles surrendered Double-A middle infielder Jake Lemmerman to St. Louis in the trade.
Schumaker probably fits best with the Dodger as an outfield reserve. Los Angeles projects to start Mark Ellis at second base (backed up by Nick Punto) with additional utility infielder types such as Juan Uribe and Jerry Hairson Jr. on the active roster. Incumbent third baseman Luis Cruz probably will be there, too, and he has no options remaining, so he can’t be returned to the minors without clearing waivers and accepting the assignment. The Dodgers have three other infielders with options remaining—Dee Gordon, Justin Sellers and Elian Herrera—who appear to be squeezed out of the picture with all the infielders.
Since taking up second base in 2009, Schumaker has started 382 games at the position. He came up as an outfielder, however, and has started at all three posts in the past four seasons, making 18 starts in center field, nine in right and two in left.
|Jake Lemmerman, ss/2b
Age: 23. Born: May 4, 1989 in Newport Beach, Calif.
Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 192.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in fifth round of 2010 draft; signed June 11, 2010.
The Dodgers have been a trusted source of middle infielders for the Cardinals in recent years. They turned to Los Angeles to acquire Rafael Furcal in July 2011, surrendering outfielder Alex Castellanos in the deal. Though Lemmerman has scuffled in his time at Double-A, batting .233/.342/.380 in 450 at-bats for Chattanooga over parts of two seasons, he drew comparisons with Mark Loretta coming out of college. He has a similar grinding hitting approach, with good bat-to-ball skills and gap power. Lemmerman’s solid glovework at shortstop is what might get him to the big leagues, however, as he shows average actions, range and arm strength at the position. He was Israel’s starting shortstop during the World Baseball Classic qualifier in September. He’s versatile enough to handle second and third base as well.
|Skip Schumaker, 2b/of
Age: 32. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $1.5 million.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.