David Freese injury makes room for St. Louis Cardinals to not play Ryan Jackson again

USA TODAY Sports

David Freese will start the season on the disabled list. In his place: Ryan Jackson.

David Freese's back injury is serious enough that he'll start the season on the 15-day disabled list, and Ryan Jackson—the St. Louis Cardinals' long-lost shortstop prospect—will start the season on the 25-man roster. If I were Pete Kozma, and I also believed in monkey's-paw-level spiteful gods of baseball, I would be very careful for the next two weeks or so.

Last year Kozma—after spending most of the season almost getting released and playing second base with the Memphis Redbirds—sneaked past an idle Jackson on the depth chart and spent a few months in a Nomar Garciaparra costume. In the offseason things got even weirder: Kozma moved past Jackson on defense, in the eyes of scouts who'd seen them both play in Memphis.

Which basically made Jackson irrelevant—great defense has been his prospect calling-card, and while he's outhit Kozma in the minor leagues, that used to be a really low bar. Before this news he looked set to be the utility infielder in Memphis, like Kozma before him.

And now—looking only a little less dispensable than Kozma did last August—he's slipped onto the roster while Freese sits out a disabled-list stint that could last fewer than 15 days. If Ryan Jackson's plan was to beat Pete Kozma by becoming Pete Kozma, he's currently halfway there.

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