Between when Rafael Furcal was injured Thursday night and when he was placed on the disabled list on Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals had several decisions to make.
The organization surprisingly brought up Pete Kozma from Memphis on Friday and inserted him into the lineup at shortstop. This was done despite the fact that Ryan Jackson was also eligible for recall due to Furcal’s move to the DL.
Jackson has been the regular shortstop for Memphis this season with Kozma, originally a shortstop, relegated to second base. Jackson is clearly the brighter prospect with a better bat.
When Jackson received his first chance in the bigs earlier this month, he was not given the opportunity to play even one inning at short, instead filling in a bit at second as well as pinch-hitting and pinch-running. He hit just .125 (1-for-8) and committed an error in his first game.
Now, an opening at Jackson’s position has arisen in the majors and one of the worst hitters in all of Triple-A this year in Kozma is added instead. He is fourth from last in the Pacific Coast League in batting average and third from the cellar in OPS. Last season, in his first, brief trials with St. Louis, Kozma batted .176.
Like recently-recalled Bryan Anderson, Kozma is in the midst of a dreadful season offensively. As such, I did not expect to see either back in St. Louis in 2012. Injuries, the calendar and some unknown priorities have changed that.
Of course, Jackson can and almost certainly will be back on Tuesday once Memphis’ season is over. Still Kozma seems a sub-optimal choice to be thrust into the Cardinals starting lineup during some very important games – a period when the Cardinals offense is struggling mightily.