UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Cozart was diagnosed with a hyperextended left elbow and that X-rays came back negative. It’s not clear when he’ll be able to return to the lineup, but it sounds like the Reds may have dodged a bullet here.
5:45 PM: Here’s some potentially bad news for the Reds as they attempt to hang around in the National League Central.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart left today’s game against the Braves with an apparent injury to his left arm following an awkward collision with Nate McLouth at second base in the fourth inning. No word on the severity of the injury yet, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com likened the play to how Albert Pujols injured his arm last month.
Cozart, 25, has been a breath of fresh air since supplanting Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria at shortstop earlier this month, batting .324 with two homers, three RBI and an .811 OPS over his first 37 major-league at-bats.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.