Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kozma Squeezed off Roster by Cards' Pitching Needs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kozma Squeezed off Roster by Cards' Pitching Needs

Article excerpt

DENVER * When Cardinals starter Shelby Miller couldn't complete the third inning Tuesday night, the Cardinals not only had to cover unexpected innings but quickly rethink the roster moves they had to make Wednesday.

The need for pitching cost Pete Kozma his spot on the roster.

"It wasn't our intentions when we brought him in to have him leave so quick," manager Mike Matheny said. "We like Pete as a player. We needed to protect ourselves."

The process of bringing rookie Marco Gonzales officially to the majors required a series of swift, intricate transactions that did involve exposing Kozma to the other 29 teams. Gonzales had to be moved from Class AA to both the 40-man major-league roster and the active roster, which teams are allowed to use for games. The Cardinals first placed Joe Kelly on the 60-day disabled list, a paperwork move that freed up a spot on the 40-man roster for Gonzales. Kelly will begin a rehab assignment Friday, and the move to the 60-day list does not alter his timetable for a return from a torn hamstring because he has already missed the mandatory 60 days.

The Cardinals had planned to option a pitcher off the active 25- man roster to make room for Gonzales. After the bullpen pitched 5 1/ 3 innings Tuesday night, the Cardinals did not want to go into Gonzales' start or this weekend's start by Carlos Martinez without a long reliever available. But to free a spot for Gonzales on the active roster the mandated three hours before first pitch the Cardinals did not have time to pass Kozma through waivers. They needed to designate him off the 25-man roster for the immediate opening, general manager John Mozeliak said.

Kozma worked out and waited around the ballpark because they didn't have a ticket for him to fly to Class AAA Memphis, where he would be by the end of the day.

Matheny said Tony Cruz will serve as a backup infielder because the Cardinals could go through the weekend with 13 pitchers on the roster.

Shortly before the first pitch of Wednesday's game, Kozma cleared revocable waivers and was optioned to the Triple-A Redbirds. …

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