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Pete Kozma replacements: An update on the St. Louis Cardinals' options

An eerily timely update on the St. Louis Cardinals' other shortstops.


Pete Kozma is now hitting .229/.278/.289, and because he will never, ever catch a break, I thought we'd look at that from the one way it's bad news for Ryan Jackson. That is: Ryan Jackson isn't cool anymore. If you're a St. Louis Cardinals fan who's spent most of the season agitating for a new shortstop, you're already looking for a more obscure option to bring up at parties and during awkward baseball-related medium-talk.

I can help. Maybe. There aren't actually many other options.

Ryan Jackson

It is maybe bad news for Ryan Jackson that the Cardinals went with Jermaine Curtis for the explicitly temporary bench spot that opened up ahead of Tuesday's game, but Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg explain that a bout with the flu—in addition to Jackson's recent slump—is to blame.

In any case, Jackson has been far from convincing in his Best Chance Ever to become the Cardinals' starting shortstop for a while; in the last 90 days (72 games) he's hit a queasily familiar .249/.321/.310. Which is not to discount his hot start, or the depth of Pete Kozma's coldness—he's hit .222/.265/.284 over the same period—or that he's still probably a better option. (Jackson's MLE, via Clay Davenport, is still .260/.325/.331.)

But Jackson's .722 OPS (against a league average of .760) no longer qualifies him for membership in the Ken Phelps All-Star Team.

Greg Garcia

Trying to catch lightning in a bottle is a self-evidently bad idea—you should probably just go inside, and wait for lightning rods to catch the lightning—but if you're looking for a less cold (or just more interesting) replacement, Greg Garcia comes by his current .706 OPS honestly: He's been hovering around .690 all season, and went 2-3 with a home run Tuesday.

Which is a disappointment, after a big breakout season in AA last year and the Cardinals' avowed fandom in the spring. His Davenport translation was .229/.317/.317 before last night's breakout, though, so hey, why not?

Jake Lemmerman

has a DT of .200/.316/.315, somehow, but I could see giving Kozma the edge.