The St. Louis Cardinals had a major problem on their hands at the shortstop position going into the 2013 season. Rafael Furcal needed surgery on his elbow and that left St. Louis scrambling to find someone to man the position this season.
It looks like they found their guy in Pete Kozma so far. Kozma is hitting .333 with a home run and five RBIs for St. Louis, and his stellar play at the plate should allow him to keep his job there all season.
Kozma is in his third year with the Cardinals but didn’t play much during his first two seasons just with 104 at-bats in the regular season. He did find himself in the lineup full-time last year in the playoffs with Furcal’s injury, but hit just .214 with 14 strikeouts.
That didn’t look like much of an audition but with Furcal now having to have the surgery, Kozma is getting a second chance at success. He is making the most of it during the first week of the year.
I wouldn’t have thought before the season that Kozma would be a player that could hit 15 home runs with a .285 batting average, but I believe it now. He will shatter the expectations that people have of him this season and St. Louis is better off because of that.
You have to believe that all the butterflies will finally leave Kozma after the team’s home opener on Monday. That game should be the final test of Kozma’s nerves for a while, because he has a secure job, and could make St. Louis not even consider bringing Furcal back next season.