When one thinks of having a problem with a position, it’s usually too many good players for one position. I wish this was the case with the St. Louis Cardinals when it came to the revolving door at shortstop but that does not appear to be the case.
It’s a good bet that the Cardinals will have yet another shortstop starting on Opening Day 2014. Regretably, this is a problem that refuses to go away and all one has to do is look at the batting average of Pete Kozma. His defense is an upgrade over Daniel Descalso, who has started 32 games at the position. Descalso has completed only 18 of those games.
Kozma has started 105 games and appeared at 119 games at the position this season. He’s completed 101 games at shortstop.
Kozma is pre-arb eligible. His first year with eligibility for arbitration does not come until the 2016 season. His free agency year comes with the 2019 season.
His defense at short has never been an issue. What has been an issue since being drafted out of high school the first round of the 2007 draft is his offensive stats. In 6 minor league seasons, the shortstop averaged a line of .236/.308/.344. These are not numbers that a club wants for their shortstop or any other position.
It leaves a lot to be desired and the Cardinals have to be pro-active this offseason. The team has no choice in moving him or optioning him down to the minor leagues.
Nobody seems to know who will the be the next opening day starter but they will be following a revolving door after years of stability between Ozzie Smith, Royce Clayton, Edgar Renteria, and David Eckstein.