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Sunday, February 17, 2013

RetroSimba: Revisiting the Gregg Jefferies deal: Cards’ good gamble

Weeki Wachee Swings…a look back.

The move paid off spectacularly.

Jefferies, 26, had a career year for the 1993 Cardinals. He hit .342 in 142 games, with 16 home runs, 83 RBI and 46 stolen bases. He committed only nine errors.

The deal was made because the Cardinals were looking to cut down on the number of runners stranded in scoring position.

Cardinals batters had struck out 996 times in 1992. Jose, who usually batted third or fourth, struck out 100 times. He too often stranded a runner at third base with less than two outs because of his inability to make contact consistently.

“That killed us more than anything last year,” Cardinals manager Joe Torre said to Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch in February 1993.

Jose’s weakness was Jefferies’ strength. ”I take pride in being able to do that,” Jefferies said of knocking in runners from third by making contact.

Jefferies struck out just 29 times in 604 at-bats for the 1992 Royals.

Cardinals pitcher Bob Tewksbury hailed the trade: “Having somebody with thunder in the lineup is going to help. It’s not thunder like Jack Clark, but (Jefferies) is going to hit the ball hard a lot.”

Said Torre: “Jefferies is a legitimate good hitter. Felix probably scared people more, but he would swing and miss too often.”

Repoz Posted: February 17, 2013 at 12:42 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cards, history

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