Descalso gives Kozma a breather
CINCINNATI -- The Cardinals made one lineup change for Sunday's series finale against the Reds, subbing in Daniel Descalso for usual starting shortstop Pete Kozma.
The move, manager Mike Matheny explained pregame, was dictated largely by the growing realization that Kozma could likely benefit from having a few more off-days scattered into the schedule. Through Saturday, he had started 57 of the team's 62 games, a total that is tied with Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday for most on the team.
While that workload may not be overwhelming for a veteran player, it is an adjustment for one in the midst of his first full big league season. Kozma played in 157 games a year ago, though only 26 of those were at the Major League level, where the demands and the travel are more grueling.
Matheny, who sat Kozma on Thursday, believed Sunday presented an ideal day off given how well Descalso has fared against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo in the past. Descalso, who has now made six starts at short this season, entered the day 9-for-22 with four extra-base hits off the Cincinnati veteran.
Descalso, who batted .368 in May, is hitting .283 this season when in the starting lineup.