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MLB St Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals: Pete Kozma Should Be the Starting Shortstop

Jeff Curry- USA TODAY Sports

With the news that St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal will be shut down indefinitely due to elbow inflammation, Pete Kozma will have another chance to prove himself as the top shortstop in the organization.

Furcal missed most of September and the entirety of the Cardinals playoff run last season. Pete Kozma did an exceptional job as a replacement, hitting .333 in 26 regular season games and did a fine job defensively in the playoffs.

Furcal is going into the last year of a two-year $14 million contract that he signed after the 2011 season and has been getting old for some time now as he is 35. It is time for the Cardinals to find a replacement and Pete Kozma fits that role very well.

Kozma is only 24 years old and is under team control until 2019, and he showed major improvement from the time he came up at the end of the 2011 season to when he replaced Furcal at the end of last season.

Kozma was a 1st round pick of the Cardinals in the 2007 amateur draft. He has not lived up to his potential as a top prospect, as it took him six minor league seasons to reach the MLB level.

However, Kozma proved that he can handle playing shortstop at the highest level by the way he played in the playoffs. It is time for the Cardinals to realize that even when Rafael Furcal is healthy, he still doesn’t do the job exceptionally well, only a 2.9 WAR in his two seasons with the Cardinals.

Mike Matheny should realize that Kozma was a key part of the Cardinals playoff run last year and he should be given a chance to start.

Max Gross can be followed on Twitter @maxgross55