Pete Kozma poses more questions for St. Louis Cardinals


Pete Kozma has provided more than a little jolt to the St. Louis Cardinals’ line up since being called up from Memphis earlier this month.

Kozma’s exceptional skills off the bench make one wonder why he wasn’t considered for a return to the big club earlier in the season?

Kozma has served as back up to shortstop Jhonny Peralta and second baseman Kolten Wong as a means to provide rest during the rough final weeks of the regular season. Mark Ellis mostly served as back-up to Wong during his stint in Memphis earlier in the season to work on his hitting. Daniel Descalso has served as back up at every position in the infield.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Kozma has played in 12 games since his return and has had 19 plate appearances. He has a batting average of .313 and a .421 on-base percentage. He’s earned three walks, five hits, a double and three runs. He has a -0.1 WAR.

This is a really small sample size. Keep this in mind when I share these other numbers with you.

Ellis has 200 plate appearances in 72 games for the Cardinals. He has a batting average of .182 and a .255 on-base percentage. He’s earned 14 walks, 32 hits, 15 runs and 12 RBI. He also has a -0.1 WAR.

Imagine if Kozma had played as many games as Ellis. How much better would his numbers be?

Descalso has 178 plate appearances in 99 games for the Cardinals. He has a batting average of .244 and a .333 on-base percentage. He’s earned 38 hits, 19 walks, 11 doubles, 10 RBI and a stolen base. He has a 0.1 WAR. Yes, that’s a positive WAR!

Why wasn’t Descalso given more of a chance to play?

With anything, the more opportunities you are given, the more opportunity you have to improve. And, improve chances for your team. It seems, Kozma and Descalso have each improved when given the opportunity.

Ellis has been stagnant when given the opportunity. Really stagnant.

When the playoffs come, I hope Mike Matheny takes a look at the numbers. Mark Ellis has no place on a playoff roster for the Cardinals. Descalso and Kozma have earned a place. Remember these two have already proven they can step up big in the playoffs. See: 2012 NLDS Game 5.

Here’s hoping we get to see what Koz and Dirty Dan can do this postseason … and that Ellis remains on the bench.