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.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: