Cardinals Vice-President and General Manager, Walt Jocketty has said on numerous occasions, that he was satisfied with the Cardinals current roster. In spite of that, there has been much speculation that Cardinals may need another outfielder to serve in the role as the team's fourth outfielder down the stretch.
Dellucci is a selfless player, (Rex Hudler, John Mabry, Joe McEwing, Bo Hart, David Eckstein) who will constantly hustle and get the most out of his limited talent, just the type of player Cardinal Manager, Tony LaRussa loves to have on the bench.
The Texas Rangers signed him last season to a two year contract for as much as he can do in the clubhouse as on the field, this is the kind of player that traditionally Walt Jocketty and Tony LaRussa have sought to bring to St. Louis.
Dellucci is the typical fourth outfielder in the major leagues. He will give you all he's got while he's in the game, knowing that his limitations keep him from being an every day player.
What are his limitations?
For one, he can't hit lefties period, prior to this season Dellucci was hitting just .143, (17-119) against left-handed pitching. This season, to date he's hitting .083 vs lefties.
Another big problem for Dellucci in the past has been seeing the ball. Last season he ranked 5th in the American League in highest percentage of swings that missed. (27.5) That has changed to some degree, in that David had LASIK eye surgery in this past off season. Scouts are seeing him consistently laying off close pitches just out of the strike zone and drawing a siege of walks this season for the first time. He has 53 walks already this season compared to just 47 for the entire 2004 campaign.
As an outfielder, Dellucci is limited to playing left field because of his below average arm. It would seem that Cardinal outfielder John Mabry could still see some playing time in right or Reggie Sanders would move to right field to give Larry Walker a game off with Dellucci filling in at left.
Dellucci can play center if he has to. He'll still give you a 100% at that position. He'll dive for the ball, crash the walls and give it all he's got to cover the gaps with his limited speed, but he would most likely be used in left and an occasional start in right.
Cardinal reserve outfielder So Taguchi, would still be a defensive replacement in the outfield and an occasional starter in center. Up until the All Star break, Taguchi has made 16 starts in center and could pick up about another 12 starts through the end of the season.
The Cardinals have used reserve outfielder John Mabry 24 times to start in left or right this season and So Taguchi has made an additional 21 starts in left and right on top of the 16 starts in center. Dellucci would be an upgrade, as the primary reserve outfielder over Mabry and Taguchi and would eat into their playing time, if he comes to St. Louis.
At the plate, Dellucci has some pop in his bat. He hit 17 home runs last season in 331 at bats or one home run for every 19.4 plate appearances. He can take a fastball at the waist and higher and put it in the bleachers and the Cardinals could use that added potential power and deep threat on the bench
On the base path Delluci has just enough speed to make the pitchers throw over to first to keep him close and maybe cause the pitcher to make a mistake to the batter. Delluci is a smart player with enough speed to push the envelop for an extra base hit when the team needs it.
He's the kind of player who could fill that role as the Cardinals fourth outfielder and not cost them an arm (Anthony Reyes/Adam Wainwright)and a leg to do it.
For months the Staff here at the Birdhouse, at www.thestlcardinals.com , has called on the Cardinals to get a valuable fourth outfielder to compliment the roster. It appears now, that at least the Cardinals are making the inquiries to find someone to fill that role.
It just may be a Texas Ranger, riding into town to save the day.