During the Winter Warm-Up, the Cardinals picked up another veteran middle infielder on a minor league deal with a spring training invite. This time the player was Ramon Vasquez. Not sure what the reasoning is for this acquisition, but that’s not what we are here for today. Let’s analyze Vasquez’s stats and see where he fits in amongst the Cardinals’ Future Redbirds.
In 2010, he did not make it out of AAA and to the majors and 2008 was his best season of his career when he was with Texas. His 2008 season was supported by a BABIP of .342, but he did hit a much higher percentage of line drives that season. Despite that strong season, he could not replicate it with Pittsburgh in 2009. His career OPS in the major leagues is .678. So, maybe we should take a look at his defense?
His career UZR/150 at shortstop is 0.8, which puts him slightly above average. His UZR at all other infield positions are negative.
Considering all these numbers, Vazquez is pretty close to the definition of a replacement player. Considering the Cardinals middle infield options in the minors, I’m not sure why the Cardinals would add another replacement level middle infielder. Tyler Greene is projected by ZiPS to have an OPS similar to Vasquez’s career numbers in 2011. Daniel Descalso is projected to have a much higher OPS, although he is not a shortstop. Will the Cardinals carry Vazquez and Punto north from Spring Training rather than Greene and Descalso? Will the Cardinals keep Vazquez in Memphis just in case of an injury to one of their middle infielders?
As a replacement player, I cannot see what Vazquez brings to the organization or to the Memphis Redbirds or St. Louis Cardinals.