ST. LOUIS -- Arriving at Spring Training without a defined role is familiar territory for Skip Schumaker, whose versatility has left him shuffled around for years. He's handled all three outfield spots just fine and has stepped in at second base for long stretches as well.
And he's prepared to do it all again.
While it's unlikely that much regular playing time will be available in the outfield, Schumaker is set to serve as a utility option on manager Mike Matheny's bench in 2012. He could also make a push to start fairly often at second base, though Schumaker would have to surpass Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso for that job.
"I'm working hard to compete for a job in Spring Training, and that should be on everybody's list up and down our roster," Schumaker said. "I'm definitely no different than that. I've fought to get into the big leagues, and I'm fighting to stay and I'm fighting to win a job. That's kind of been my career path."
Schumaker has appeared in 365 games in the outfield and in another 351 at second. He'll take the majority of his repetitions this spring at second, given that he's still more comfortable as an outfielder.
Schumaker returns to the Cardinals under a two-year deal that will pay him $1.5 million in both 2012 and '13. He agreed to terms on the deal back in December, thus avoiding the arbitration process.
"I wasn't trying to break the bank or anything," Schumaker said. "I just wanted to be here a part of this club. I enjoy winning and that's what we do here."