<
>

Khalil Greene gets versatile

The Khalil Greene story has taken a slightly odd turn:

    The Cardinals have sent shortstop Khalil Greene back to Class AAA Memphis to continue his rehab assignment because they want him to take a detour before he returns to the majors.
    He's going to work on a new position: third base.

    Greene
    --snip--

    The Cardinals are in the market for options at third base, what with Troy Glaus (shoulder surgery) mired in rehab and the trade market not yet bearing the desired bat. So, the Cardinals have decided to get creative. Greene returned to St. Louis this weekend to meet with general manager John Mozeliak, and agreed to try the move. Sunday night, he started at third for Memphis at Nashville.

    Greene is on the 15-day disabled list with what the team has described as social anxiety disorder. He went four for eight in his first two games of his rehab assignment and committed two errors at shortstop. [Tony] La Russa said the "excellent shortstop play" of Brendan Ryan and rookie Tyler Greene influenced the decision.

    Though he hasn't played the corner in the majors, Greene was an accomplished third baseman at Clemson, where he won the Golden Spikes Award in 2002.

    His college experience is "worth a lot of points," La Russa said. "He has some timing issues playing shortstop, and there's less that you have to be concerned about when you're playing third base."

Hey, creative is good. Third base hasn't been a disaster in Glaus' absence, but Joe Thurston hasn't exactly reminded anyone of Terry Pendleton, either. If Greene gets back to where he was in, say, 2007, he and Thurston might constitute a decent enough platoon until Glaus or top prospect Brett Wallace -- who has been struggling in Memphis, by the way -- is ready to take over.
Of course, the odds are that Greene won't ever get back to where he was in 2007. Not considering where he's been in 2008 and '09. But the Cardinals have him and he wants to play, so you can hardly blame everyone for trying to figure out something that will work.