With Furcal out, Descalso gets work at shortstop

With Furcal out, Descalso gets work at shortstop

With Furcal out, Descalso gets work at shortstop
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' carousel of potential shortstops doesn't appear as if it will rotate all that much now that Rafael Furcal is sidelined for the rest of the regular season. Since Furcal suffered a right elbow injury, Daniel Descalso continues to get the bulk of the starts.

In the lineup again on Friday, Descalso has been manager Mike Matheny's shortstop choice in five of the seven games since Furcal went down. The other two starts went to Pete Kozma, whose defensive ability has him ahead of Ryan Jackson on the depth chart.

Defense, manager Mike Matheny said, will continue to be prioritized in Furcal's absence.

"Danny has done a real nice job making plays," manager Mike Matheny said. "Raffy was doing a great job for us all the way around. We just have to make adjustments with what we have."

Jackson is unlikely to get many -- if any -- starts, though he'll remain on the roster through the end of the season. Matheny was quick to clarify that any lack of playing time for Jackson should not be taken to mean that the middle infielder has fallen out of favor with the organization. Rather, it's more a reflection on the steadiness Descalso provides and the improvements Kozma has made.

With Descalso expected to make regular starts at shortstop this month, that also somewhat settles the second base debate. Matheny has fluctuated between using Skip Schumaker or Descalso at second all year, though those starts will now go to Schumaker, who, while not as strong defensively as Descalso, enters Friday batting .352 with runners in scoring position this year.

Kozma and Jackson can also step in at second, if needed, and don't rule out Matt Carpenter as an option there either. Though not a natural middle infielder, Carpenter continues to take pregame work at second to improve his versatility.