Oakland A’s appeal to Pete Kozma!
The Oakland A’s have been eliminated from the playoffs, but there will be an interesting new player to watch for the final three games of the year.
The infielder placed A’s Vimael Machin on the 10-day injured list Friday with stomach disease, unrelated to COVID-19. To take his place on the active list, they called in a veteran Pete Kozma from Triple-A Las Vegas. Kozma was not on the 40-player roster, but there was already a free place to add him without further movement.
Oakland signed Kozma last winter for a minor league contract, and he played for them during spring training, beating 0.286 in 47 Cactus League home plate appearances. From there, he spent the summer in Triple-A, making a modest 500 home plate appearances in the Vegas hitting-friendly environment, while serving as a starting shortstop.
- Kozma, AAA: .244 / .307 / .337, 62 wRC +, 4 HR, 6 SB, 7.4% BB, 19.4% Ks
The first glove utility is no stranger to the majors. He made his debut in 2011 for the Cardinals, and the following year he rose to prominence when he was involved in a controversial infield fly call in the NL Wild Card Game. In 2013, at the age of 25, he was the daily shortstop for a St. Louis team that competed in the World Series.
However, his playing time waned after that, and he has only appeared in 156 games since. Most recently, he played for the Yankees and Rangers in 2017, and the Tigers in 2018. Now he’s finally back, for a few days in the A’s uniform at 33.
Meanwhile, Machin effectively stepped out for the season with an unwelcome stomach bug. He was called up last weekend to replace other injuries on the roster, his fourth brief stint in the majors this year, and he’s gone 1 for 4 in two appearances. Overall for the summer, he played 15 games for Oakland at three different positions and went 4-for-32 to plate.
Analysis: Those last three games don’t make sense, so they might as well be fun. We’ve had a few jokes about Kozma on Athletics Nation this summer, but he’s a seasoned MLB player with a neat history, and he can hustle and play cool games. What could be more A than a name of yesteryear returning to the majors for the first time in three years? Having said that, it’s a bummer for Machin to miss out just when he had another chance.
Here is the updated list, with the injury report below.
Chris Bassitt (right)
60-IT: Mike Fiers (D)
Andrew Chafin (L)
HE : Daulton Jefferies (right)
Sean Murphy (D)
1B: Matt Olson (L)
HE : Elvis Andrus (D)
Mark Canha (D)
HE : Stephen Piscotty (D)
- RHP Trevor Rosenthal, FOR THE YEAR, the whole body (thoracic outlet, hip labrum)
- OF Stephen Piscotty, FOR THE YEAR, wrist (underwent surgery on 08/27)
- SS Elvis Andrus, 10 days IL, leg (fractured fibula, absent for a year)
- 2B Jed lowrie, 10 days ILhand (mathematically out for the year)
- RHP Mike Proud, 60 days IL, elbow (probably out for a year)
- RHP Daulton Jefferies, 10 days IL, elbow (probably out for a year)
- DH Mitch moreland, 10 days IL, wrist (maybe out for a year?)
- IF Vimael Machin, IL 10 days, illness (mathematically out for the year)