A few days ago the St. Louis Cardinals were rumored to be shopping shortstop Pete Kozma in the wake of Jhonny Peralta being signed as the team's new starter at the position.
My argument against the move was that Kozma could be a very valuable insurance policy if the Redbirds suffered a middle infield injury. If the club let him go, it would be hard to replace Kozma's glove over the long haul.
Fortunately, it wasn't the nightmare scenario of Peralta suffering a serious injury. Still, the Cardinals will cash in that policy on opening day when Kozma will take the place of second baseman Mark Ellis on the 25-man roster.
We all know that right-handed batter Kozma doesn't hit a ton. But he's got a good glove at second, short and third to compliment lefty hitting utilility player Daniel Descalo.
Ellis' knee problem seems relatively minor. Yet it has lingered on for two weeks. He seemed to be getting better until he slipped on wet turf while playing third base following a rain delay. Manager Mike Matheny wasn't pleased about the unnecessary injury to say the least.
I hope Ellis can come back quickly because he takes a lot of pressure off second baseman Kolten Wong, he provides a nice bat both off the bench or potentially in the starting line-up and he helps the Redbirds overcome their recent problem of being vulnerable to left handed pitching.
Kozma can't replace Ellis' bat. But at least he can keep Wong from being run into the ground by other managers constantly forcing him to face lefty pitching.