ST. LOUIS — Shortstop Pete Kozma was designated for assignment by the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, but he cleared waivers and has returned to Class AAA Memphis.
Also Wednesday, the Cardinals purchased the contract of left-hander Marco Gonzales from Class AA Springfield. Gonzales made his major-league debut Wednesday, allowing five runs in five innings of the Cardinals' come-from-behind 9-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
Gonzales is wearing No. 56.
Right-hander Joe Kelly, who finally is showing progress in his return from a strained left hamstring, has been shifted to the 60-day disabled list in a procedural move. Kelly, who already has been on the disabled list more than 60 days, will make a rehab start for Memphis on Friday.
Kozma, 26, is batting .234 with 14 doubles, four homers and 24 RBIs in 59 games this season at Memphis.
Kozma debuted with the Cardinals in 2011, batting .176 in 16 games. He resurfaced again in 2013 after Rafael Furcal injured his elbow, batting .333 (24-for-72) in 26 games down the stretch and helping the Cardinals earn the NL wild card.
Kozma batted .250 (4-for-16) in the division series against Washington, but had a home run and drove in five runs in five games. He cooled against San Francisco in the NL Championship Series, batting .227 (5-for-22).
Furcal remained injured in 2013, opening the door for more playing time for Kozma. But he struggled all season with the bat, hitting just .217 with one home run and 35 RBIs in 143 games.
In the postseason, Kozma batted just .143 (5-for-35) against Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston. Against the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series and the Red Sox in the World Series, Kozma batted .040 (1-for-25).
The Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $53 million contract in November, essentially ending Kozma's big-league opportunity in St. Louis.
Kozma, along with reliever Eric Fornataro, had just been recalled from Memphis on Monday when the Cardinals placed pitchers Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha on the disabled list.