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Off the list

The latest alterations to the Cardinals 40-man roster are a vivid illustration of the sad shape of the team's player production.

The team announced that Nick Stavinoha, Steven Hill, Adam Ottavino and Daryl Jones were removed from the list while Peter Kozma, Blake King and Tony Cruz were added to it. The players who were removed are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, which means the Redbirds could lose them for virtually nothing to any team that wants to take them.

Of the players who were removed from the list, Stavinoha was the stereotypical Class AAAA player. He hit the daylights out of the ball in the minors. And did a whole lot of nothing in St. Louis. Jones and Ottovino are enigmatic players who have tons of talent -- and who were heavily promoted as future stars -- but they couldn't seem to put it together on the field. Hill, like far too many players the Cardinals draft these days, is a good hitter but terrible fielder who doesn't seem to have a future in St. Louis.

Meanwhile, Kozma was a reach first round pick who caused lots of Cardinals fans (including this one) to pull out their hair when he was selected over much better talent. The club doesn't admit it, but for all their talk about building through the draft, they took Kozma because they thought he would be cheaper to sign that some of the bona fide talent that was available.

Kozma is a .243 hitter in the minors who hasn't made it past Class AA where he's hit only .231 over the last two seasons. He's been promoted even though he's put up poor numbers throughout his minor league career. But he doesn't see anywhere close to being ready to perform at Class AAA Memphis. He seems to be on the Tyler Greene career path -- at best.