Infield shuffling extends to Descalso, Kozma at short

Infield shuffling extends to Descalso, Kozma at short

Infield shuffling extends to Descalso, Kozma at short

CHICAGO -- In explaining the timing behind Kolten Wong's promotion to the Majors on Friday, the Cardinals were clear in their intentions to play him regularly at second base. As expected, the left-handed-hitting infielder was back in the lineup Sunday against Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson.

The Cardinals have not been as explicit with their plans at shortstop, though Daniel Descalso's start on Sunday was further indication that he will continue to take time away from Pete Kozma. Could it be that a platoon -- much like the one expected to continue with Wong and David Freese -- is developing at shortstop, as well?

To that, manager Mike Matheny answered, "No. It's just day to day and see how we feel things match up."

Regardless of what it's termed, Descalso and Kozma's playing time has been even of late. Descalso has started eight games at short in August compared to Kozma's nine. This comes after Kozma was the starting shortstop in 90 of the team's first 106 games.

The Cardinals have long said they are comfortable sacrificing some offense to keep Kozma's glove in the field. He ranks fourth among all National League shortstops with an ultimate zone rating of 4.7 and has committed fewer errors than anyone with at least 100 starts at the position.

But with the Cardinals' offense enduring some recent ebbs and flows, the club has valued Descalso's bat more. All eight of his starts in August have come against right-handed pitchers, against whom Descalso enters Sunday hitting .269 with a .318 on-base percentage this year. Against lefties, he has a .196 average and OBP of .260.

"I think we have all become more comfortable with how Danny is playing, as well and how he's swinging the bat at times," Matheny said. "You're going to see both of them in there."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.