MIAMI -- With the grind of a 162-game season taking its toll on players 75 games in, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to give third baseman David Freese the day off Tuesday against the Marlins -- especially after the blistering heat from the weekend series in Kansas City.
"He's been looking good, but you could also see that those days in Kansas City beat him down," Matheny said.
Matheny wanted to get Freese, who has appeared in 68 games this season, a scheduled day off before Thursday's off-day. The St. Louis skipper originally wanted to get Freese a day at designated hitter when the team was in Interleague Play, but said the team needed Freese's defense too much to afford that luxury.
With Tuesday's day off for Freese, Daniel Descalso started at third base and Skip Schumaker got the start at second, his first at the position since May 17 against the Giants.
It was Schumaker's 10th start at second base this season. His other 15 starts have come in right field (two) and center field (13). He is no stranger to second base, though, as he started 331 games there from 2009-11.
In 34 appearances this season, Schumaker is hitting .305 with a career-best .374 on-base percentage. He has driven in 13 runs and scored 16. After missing nearly three weeks with a right hamstring injury, Schumaker has played in six of the Cardinals' last eight games, including Tuesday's matchup with the Marlins.
"We got to keep Schumaker, we got to keep all these guys sharp," Matheny said. "It's just a matter of trying to get them all in there and get them their at-bats."