Oct 12, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) hits a two run single against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning of game five of the 2012 NLDS at Nationals Park. Image Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
There is no reason to panic about the shortstop situation, yet. At this point in spring training it is healthy not to over speculate about the prominent middle infield position. It would be ideal to have a premium player at short to accompany all of the other possible All-Stars, but Rafael Furcal (that premo player) still has a bum funny bone.
This past week’s overreaction to Furcal’s reoccurring and predictable injury created numerous impossible and impractical trade ideas. Is it even possible that the cool Cardinals would trade their valued arms to get a renowned shortstop, in March? It does seem plausible to send the unneeded Matt Adams somewhere else, but that may be premature as well.
The fact is,Pete Kozma can play and he proved that with the lumber in 2012. He is having a good spring, batting .400 and hasn’t committed an error in 58 innings. While back-ups Ty Wigginton and Ronny Cedeno don’t look great, if needed, they can play the position that Cardinals Nation worries about. If the Cardinals are actually going to send young talent elsewhere, it would only make sense if there is a dire need. Okay, Kozma’s offensive projections are average, but lets not be too hard on someone who is still 25 and is growing as a player.
If the Cardinals find themselves in need of a bigger bat and better glove at shortstop in late July, then it makes sense to make a deal. Until then, St. Louis will use what it has to win games, and what the ball club possesses is far more than most other MLB teams. Don’t disregard October 2012 when Kozma became a household name by slaughtering Washington’s Championship dreams. But also, remember the routine ground ball that devoured him in the NLCS.
Only father time will shed light on the Cards middle infield. It wasn’t long ago that Brett Wallace and Colby Rasmus shipped out to bring required pieces to the Gateway City. Trust and patience are keys for St. Louis fans to avoid freaking out or singing the shortstop Blues. Just like the Cardinals meeting in the world’s smallest country, fundamental decisions take time.