Furcal's value to Cards goes beyond offense

Furcal's value to Cards goes beyond offense

Furcal's value to Cards goes beyond offense
PHILADELPHIA -- It's no secret that Rafael Furcal has been battling through injuries for the better part of his 2012 campaign. After he hit .319 over the first 54 games of the season with a .816 OPS, the veteran shortstop has fallen off at the plate and entered Saturday's game hitting .265 on the year.

That said, the Cardinals lean on Furcal heavily for his leadership and defense, neither of which has waned despite his offensive struggles.

"He's done such a nice job playing a solid, solid shortstop, and we'll take what we can offensively," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "You look at this lineup, if you are looking at shortstop for all of the offensive production, you're looking in the wrong spot. If he keeps doing what he's been doing and as bad as his back has felt, he hasn't shown it in his range or consistency in the field, and that's where we really need him the most."