The St. Louis Cardinals are bringing Mark Ellis off the disabled list, and will send Pete Kozma to Class AAA Memphis to make room for him.
Ellis will be active for the Redbirds' game at Milwaukee this evening, after beginning the season on the disabled list because of left knee patella tendinitis.
The 36-year-old middle infielder signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals in December, and was expected to compete with Kolten Wong for playing time at second base.
But the knee injury dogged him most of spring training, and he was sent out on an injury rehabilitation program to Memphis this weekend. He went 1-for-3 and played five innings at second base Sunday, and will wear jersey No. 3.
Ellis is a career .265 hitter in 11 major-league seasons, with 105 homers and 538 RBIs. He hit .270 with six homers and 48 RBIs for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
Kozma, one of the hitting heroes early in the Cardinals' playoff run in 2012, hit .217 as a regular last season and yielded to free-agent acquisition Jhonny Peralta this spring.
Kozma has a homer and five RBIs in the Cards' five-game division series win over Washington in 2012, but hit .227 in the NLCS against San Franciso that year.
He was 0-for-10 in the World Series loss in six games to Boston last fall, after hitting .067 (1-for-15) in the NLCS seven-game triumph over the Dogers.
Kozma, who turned 26 on Friday, didn't start a game the first two weeks of the season. He had only three plate appearances, singled in the last of those at-bats in the ninth inning of the Cards' 4-0 win Monday in Milwaukee, and then was told after the game that he was ticketed for Memphis.
Last week, with Ellis' return imminent, Kozma said he'd welcome a demotion to Memphis to get a chance to play every day.