It appears that Pete Kozma’s time with the St. Louis Cardinals is coming to an end. Once known for helping the Cards in their 2012 and 2013 postseason runs, Kozma looks on the outs with the ballclub.
Kozma was recently called up from Triple-A affiliate Memphis Redbirds in order to add infielder depth to the roster. After the never ending injuries at the pitching position, Kozma was optioned back down to Memphis to make room for rookie pitcher Marco Gonzales. Now it seems that other teams could be looking to pick up Kozma on option waivers.
With this in mind, take a look at what Kozma had to offer. In 59 games with Memphis this season, he has put together .234 batting average, 24 RBIs, 33 runs, and a .341 on-base percentage. Not bad numbers at all. Defensively, Kozma has a solid .987 fielding percentage at the shortstop position.
While having a stellar season in 2014, Kozma could be a starter for plenty of major league teams, just not the Cardinals. After picking up Jhonny Peralta in free agency this past offseason, Kozma’s future with the ballclub drastically changed.
His biggest let down is his inconsistency. Remaining a starter at the professional level requires a certain amount of consistency at the plate, which is the one thing Kozma seems to struggle at. When first called up in 2011, Kozma had a .214 batting average with Memphis, but only posted a .176 batting average in 16 games with the Cardinals. In 2012 he was sent back down to Memphis to gain his swing back, putting together a solid .232 average. When called up to St. Louis to replace an injured Rafael Furcal, he improved that average to .383, helping them make a postseason run and advance to the NLCS. Kozma then remained the starter for the Cards at the start of the 2013 season, but with the addition of Peralta, Kozma once again found himself in Triple-A action for the Memphis Redbirds.
It’s hard to say what types of players St. Louis will try to pick up in return for the shortstop. Recently the pitchers for the Cardinals have been dropping like flies to all kinds of injuries, most recently Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha.
Although it is only a little over one third of the way through the season, major league teams need a healthy pitching rotation in order to stay afloat in their respected division and make the postseason. Based on the depth in outfielders between the active 40-man roster, including Oscar Taveras and Randal Grichuk, the Cardinals don’t need additional outfielders this season. The team also seems to have decent depth in infield, so the smartest option would be to pick up at least one pitcher, if not a multiple player option. Keep a close eye on these trade rumors as things will surely stir some more closer to the All-Star break.