Cardinals designate Pete Kozma for assignment

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Pete Kozma was the Cardinals’ Opening Day shortstop last season and a not-insignificant number of people misguidedly believed that he had long-term upside based on paying more attention to his flukey 26-game stint in 2012 rather than his lengthy track record of mediocrity.

Kozma went on to hit .217 with one homer and a .548 OPS in 143 games last season, at which point the Cardinals demoted him to Triple-A and moved on to Jhonny Peralta at shortstop.

Earlier this week the Cardinals called up Kozma from Triple-A because they needed some short-term bench depth and now they’ve designated him for assignment to clear roster room for other moves.

There’s a decent chance that some other team claims Kozma off waivers, because he’d be a reasonably decent utility infielder, but any notion of him being a quality regular should have been squashed a long time ago.

Trust multi-year track records, y’all.

UPDATE: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Kozma passed through waivers unclaimed and will be assigned to Triple-A by the Cardinals.

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.