The Key to Nick Punto
Well, part of the reason is that, in small doses, he isn't a disaster. Tony LaRussa is a famous micromanager, and Punto is often inserted as a defensive replacement. In St. Louis, he has played defensively in 60 games... and started in barely half of them. In Minnesota, he was supposed to be the regular third baseman, if you'll recall, last year and was eventually a regular starter at second. The same could be said for Punto earlier in his career. He was foisted into starting roles all too often. With the Cardinals he is not a key component, truly a utility player.
This is where Punto is an asset. In small doses, he can be a spark at the plate and an asset in the field. He is a good as a utility player, such as he is in St. Louis. As an every day player, like he was often called upon to be, he is nothing less than a catastrophe. The fact that he was so scorned in Minnesota says more about the Twins organization than it does about Punto himself. (and the fact that he would be an improvement on the 2011 team is a depressing reminder of how bad the organization is this year)