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Cardinals news and notes: Hazelbaker, Wacha, Piscotty, Shandling

Yesterday at VEB (as well as some stuff about Pete Kozma and a short video tribute to Garry Shandling)

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Pete Kozma is batting .176/.263/.294 in 17 at-bats for the New York Yankees this spring.  That's not very good, but believe it or not Kozma has a career .796 OPS in spring training, including three home runs, which might explain why he was able to repeatedly sneak onto the Cardinals' roster.  Latest information I've read states that he's still in the mix for Yankees' final bench spot.  I, for one, am rooting for him.  Why is this news?  Because beat writer Derrick Goold tweeted today that the Cardinals' emergency catcher position - once manned by Kozma - remains unfilled and is up for grabs.

This is hardly a big deal.  Kozma never had to play catcher during his time with the Cardinals but I'm intrigued by Mike Matheny possibly asking for volunteers.  Say Adam Wainwright is the only one to raise his hand - is the job his or does someone intervene?  In this spirit, I would like to see a team (preferably not my team) field a defense on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here's what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:

Jeremy Hazelbaker

Joe Schwarz took a look at OF Jeremy Hazelbaker in an effort to figure out why he's been tearing up the Texas League and spring training and whether it means anything.

Michael Wacha

I tried to figure out if it's wise to bet on Michael Wacha returning to early 2014 form in 2016 and frankly, I have no idea.  However, if Wacha's able to return and somehow dominate like he has in the past I'll feel so much better about the Cardinals' chances this season.

Silly Politicians

Craig Edwards discussed the Missouri politician who introduced a bill to recognize the Cardinals as Missouri's official baseball team and, in a larger scope, the increase in attention-grabbing stories that have nothing to do with how the Cardinals actually performed on the field.

El Tsunami

Carlos Martinez continues his charitable efforts in the Dominican Republic.  This Vitilla game is just the coolest damn thing.

Stephen Piscotty

The VEB Projections for Stephen Piscotty are in and the community has him slashing .289/.356/.464.  I think we would all take that.

Garry Shandling

Lastly, RIP to the great Garry Shandling.  Here's a wonderful scene in which Shandling isn't even heard saying a word but his presence is so important.

Have a great weekend, everyone.