Kozma out; Hamilton, Carpenter in – UPDATED
The Cardinals are beefing up their bench with a pair of additions. Prior to Friday night’s game against the Cubs, the club will option shortstop Pete Kozma to Triple-A Memphis and recall first baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton from Memphis. Also, third baseman Matt Carpenter’s contract will be purchased from Memphis, with the team likely to send out a pitcher to make room on the active roster for Carpenter.
The Cardinals are doing without outfielder Matt Holliday, who was placed on the disabled list on Thursday. That will provide more regular playing time for Allen Craig and Jon Jay, which in turn weakens the Cardinals’ bench. Bringing back Hamilton and adding Carpenter should help address that issue.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported late Thursday night that Kozma would be optioned, and a club official confirmed on Friday that Hamilton will be the player taking his roster spot. No official confirmation was available on Carpenter’s promotion. However, Mark Cohen, the sports information director at Carpenter’s alma mater, Texas Christian University, reported on Twitter that Carpenter has been called up.
Kozma, 23, appeared in 10 games during his first stint in the big leagues, mostly off the bench. He went 1-for-8 but drew three walks, and recorded a double for his first Major League hit.
Hamilton will be making his second appearance in St. Louis this year. He went 3-for-15 earlier in 2011. Over parts of three seasons at Triple-A, however, Hamilton has shown himself to be an offensive force. In 25 games at Memphis this year, he’s batting .391 with a .509 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage. His career Triple-A line is .318/.409/.564 with 26 home runs in 143 games.
Carpenter was a Spring Training sensation and very nearly made the Major League roster out of camp. He got off to a slow start in the regular season, but is currently hitting .283 with a .421 OBP and a .387 SLG at Memphis. Carpenter was the Cardinals’ Minor League player of the year in 2010.