Kouz is back in the majors.
On Wednesday, I headed for the Yankees game and listened to the Texas Rangers game while on my way to the ballpark. Yes, I have something of a baseball problem too, but that’s not the point. As I was listening, there was a name mentioned recalled from the depths of my collection – Kevin Kouzmanoff.
He did well in Spring Training with Texas, but they sent him to triple-A to start the season. However, Adrian Beltre tends to get a bit banged up during the year, so I wondered if Kouz would eventually get a shot.
It came sooner than expected.
Kouzmanoff pinch hit in the top of the seventh and singled off Boston’s Junichi Tazawa. I screamed in my car like a little girl on her birthday getting shiny new bike – or something like that.
Kouzmanoff hasn’t played in a Major League game since 2011 with the Colorado Rockies. He spent the last two years in the minors in the Kansas City and Miami organizations. I wondered if he would ever make it back because he is 32 years old. He started his career the flashiest way possible – he hit a grand slam on the first Major League pitch he saw.
One of Kouz’s best years was in 2007 where he hit .275/.329/.457. In 2008, he had a career-high 23 home runs. However, his career regressed from there. He never hit higher than a .260 batting average and never hit more than 18 home runs.
He did have defense on his side though. In 2009, Kouz broke the National League single-season record with a .990 fielding percentage and his glove wound up in the Hall of Fame (FYI, Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman won the gold glove that year).
I got a chance to check it out when I visited the Hall of Fame this winter.
No matter what happens to him this season, I’m happy to see him back in the Majors. I think he could be a serviceable backup while Beltre deals with a quad issue. He may even prove a little useful off the bench.
Who knows? I may even see a few more cards in my Kouz collection.
Here are a couple of past posts on Kouz and my collection:
Dec. 17, 2008: A little fun with ... Kevin Kouzmanoff
Oct. 13, 2009: Kouzmanoff in the Hall of Fame
June 6, 2011: My collection just took a drastic hit
July 27, 2011: Chasing a minor leaguer