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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Why Pete Kozma over Ryan Jackson?

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.

Did they try to rush to sign a free agent shortstop or stay in-house? Even if they had gone the former route, they would have needed interim help during the big Washington series this weekend.

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.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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14 Responses to “Why Pete Kozma over Ryan Jackson?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Crazy decision making if you ask me.

  2. blingboy says:

    Jackson didn’t have much of a chance, but he did have one, and did nothing to impress. Perhaps it was thought recalling him would send the wrong message. Whenever he gets another one he will likely have a sense of urgency.

    Some time back, there was some agreement on the board that Furcal going down would be a disaster. Since then, he has cooled down and been gimpy, and Jay has emerged in the leadoff spot. But its still a disaster. Just a different disaster than contemplated earlier.

    The team really looks like crap. Just the sort of situation where Wainy normally stands tall. Very disturbing.

  3. blingboy says:

    Q. If Kozma had lined one off the wall rather than dribbling one over the mound, would he have stayed in the game?

  4. Bw52 says:

    Hello…..hello.can anybody play this game? Pitiful.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    The Kozma promotion is easily understandable:
    First, the Cards know the role is limited right now. They will probably play Descalso against RHPs and go with Kozma against lefties.
    Second, Pete is a SS.
    Third, Pete has banged out 11 HRs and driven in 63 runs during his second year home based at the stingiest park in the PCL. Brendan Ryan did not hit much better, but we gave him ML playing time.
    Fourth, the idea the Cards will let Kozma go this winter is a snort.

    • crdswmn says:

      Lasr night Clint Eastwood gave a speech to an empty chair. I understand that more.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        I can help you understand Clint. He doubts Obama is a celestial deity who can make the oceans suside, any more than could King Canute halt the waves. Even if Barack really were Poseidon, such a stunt would be useless.
        When privileged to attend Punahou School, the prep school uf Oahu’s elite, Obama was a prolific dope smoker. This must have prepped him for inhaling global warming nonsense.
        Clint thinks politicians are only hired help, so we should fire Obama for lousy economic stewardship. If Mitt does not do any better, fire him next election. Clint has a no-nonsense outlook.

  6. Brian Walton says:

    Jackson doesn’t appear too rusty. He has reached base in 7 of 10 plate appearances since being sent down to Memphis. Five singles, two walks.

    • crdswmn says:

      Well, that “rusty” excuse is just crap. There is some other reason behind this whole thing.

      I love the Cardinals but every once in while they make a decision that is beyond stupid.

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