Bernie Miklasz argues here for keeping Pete Kozma. Basically he argues that Kozma can field and run the bases well. I think we should take a different approach and teach Ty Kelly how to play short. He plays 2nd and 3rd already (and LF too) so teach him the the other middle infield spot. I realize SS might be harder to learn than second, but the Cardinals have excellent infield coach in Jose Oquendo, who can help him in learning shortstop as well as where to position himself. That positioning helped out Jhonny Peralta quite a bit last year, and can do so for Kelly. Kelly could’ve got some time at short in spring training, and continued to learn during as the season, since he’s not a starter. Peralta, as long as he stays healthy, doesn’t need that many days off. I think the more we get Kelly’s bat in the game the better, so adding another position for him to play would help that.
Plus Kelly’s bat plays better than Kozma’s. I’ve already covered that in other posts, but it’s a far better option that a guy who’s career average is .236 and doesn’t even crack .300 with his career OPB (it’s .297)
I understand the value of having a glove man on the bench, but I think that we could use that spot for another bat. Not sure who, offhand, but the point is I think we have better options than Kozma.
I’m sure many would argue that if those options were prospects, keeping them down in Triple AAA where they’d get at bats is better for the player. I agree with that to a point, but I also think the major league experience of learning from the guys at the big league level has value as well. I’m pretty sure Matt Holliday, Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina have lessons they can impart, even if the kid doesn’t play their position. I also think Jhonny could teach Ty a thing or two about playing SS. As he proved last year, he’s better as SS than people give him credit for. Part of that was the afore-mentioned positioning, but part of that was skill too.
Anyways, that’s my two cents.
As always, thanks for reading.