JUPITER, Fla. - Mike Matheny would gladly take the version of Pete Kozma the Cardinals saw in September and October if he's needed to play significant time this year with Rafael Furcal out.
"I think anybody would," Matheny said.
The 35-year-old Furcal has been shut down from all baseball activities due to renewed discomfort and pain stemming from a partially torn ligament in his right elbow that forced him to miss the last month of the regular season and playoffs last year.
And Kozma, just like he did when Furcal went down last fall, is expected to get the first shot at everyday playing time as his replacement.
"You have to look at probably the best baseball we played was when we had Pete," Matheny said. "I think that's very encouraging and exciting about what it could potentially look like going forward but we'll just continue to watch and see how things go."
Kozma, a former first round pick by the Cardinals in the 2007 draft, has jus...