Exit Interview: Pete Kozma

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Player: Pete Kozma

Season stats: 143 games, 448 PA, 44 R, 20 2B, 1 HR, 35 RBI, 34 BB, 91 K, .217/.275/.273

Hero/Goat: Hero 4, Goat 7

Overall grade: D+

Positives: If you are going to talk positively about Pete Kozma, it’s likely you are going to bring up his glove.  He was stellar with the glovework most of the season and that was the entire reason he was kept in the starting lineup for as long as he was.  He also had one of his most productive months in September, tapping into a little bit of that Kozma magic from 2012.  Plus his only home run of the year proved chivalry was dead, at least in Arizona.

Negatives: If you are talking negatively about Kozma, you are talking about his bat, or lack thereof.  There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that Kozma was almost a guaranteed out, sucking some of the momentum out of what was a pretty solid lineup most of the year.  His OPS+ was 54, which is atrocious.  He had two different stretches where he went 0-20.  For all the comparisons to Ozzie Smith, even Ozzie’s early years weren’t as bad as this.

Outlook: It’s not really Kozma’s fault that he wound up as the starter.  The Cardinals gambled on Rafael Furcal and lost.  However, they won’t be fooled again by a magical Kozma run (well, he didn’t have one, but still) and are actively searching for a replacement.  I would expect Kozma would be the backup guy unless the Cards wind up signing one of those as well.

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