Randal Grichuk and Pete Kozma have made the opening day roster of the St. Louis Cardinals, according to an MLB.com report.
Grichuk is hitting .262 for the spring with a team-leading four home runs in 42 at-bats. He's driven in 10 runs and struck out nine times while walking eight. While Grichuk has supplied the power, Kozma has been the leading spring hitter for the Redbirds in other areas.
The former starting shortstop who lost his job when the Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta as an offensive boost, Kozma is hitting .425 if 40 Grapefruit League at-bats. While his bat has raised eyebrows this spring, those numbers probably had a little bit less to do with his roster spot than the fact that he's expanded his defensive abilities to become a legit utility player by learning to play in the outfield.
Kozma was never questioned for his defense in the middle infield. He can offer plus defense on the infield corners and he at least seems serviceable as an outfielder.
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For the time being, it looks like the Cardinals will hang on to Peter Boujos who followed a disappointing debut season with St. Louis -- and complained openly about his playing time -- with a completely discouraging spring.
The team announced Bourjos will be on the big league club while infielder Ty Kelly has been sent to Class AAA Memphis.
Bourjos hit .128 in 39 spring at-bats, striking out 10 times while walking four in Grapefruit League action. The statistics are a small sample. But the lackluster appearance came from a guy who was supposed to be rejuvenated by surgery to repair a hip impingement and who should have been eager to remake his image in the minds of his manager and general manager. He batted only .231 in 2014 with 78 strikeouts and 22 walks as he lost his job -- TWICE -- to the man he was supposed to replace in the the starting lineup, Jon Jay.
Bourjos showed nothing to indicate he planned to challenge Jay for the starting centerfield job. Instead, he'll join a crowded outfield picture as a defensive specialist.
I'd love to see Bourjos figure out what's going wrong at the plate and make good on his prediction before last season that he was going to steal 40 bases a year. But I don't see how that's going to happen if he's getting a handful of at-bats a week. And I think the Cardinals are going to be hurt by not keeping an extra infielder around instead of a sixth guy who can play in the outfield.
Opening day roster:
Starting pitchers: Adam Wainwright, John Lackey, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez
Bullpen: Trevor Rosenthal, Jordan Walden, Carlos Villanueva, Seth Maness, Kevin Seigrist and Randy Choate, Matt Belisle
Starting eight: C Yadier Molina, 1B Matt Adams, 2B Kolten Wong, 3B Matt Carpenter, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF Matt Holliday, CF Jon Jay, RF Jayson Heyward
Bench: C Tony Cruz, UT Pete Kozma, OF Randal Grichuk, 1B/3B Mark Reynolds,