UPDATE: Cozart will have the surgery Friday, knocking him out until 2012.
Zack Cozart hit his way into the Reds’ plans with a .310 batting average and .825 OPS at Triple-A and then pushed past veteran Edgar Renteria as the starting shortstop, only to suffer a hyper-extended elbow in his 11th game.
Cozart has been on the disabled list since July 24 and the 25-year-old rookie admitted to Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s “leaning toward” undergoing season-ending surgery.
He’ll likely make a decision by the end of the week, but so far has been unable to hit or field without pain and explained: “I’m still far away from being ready to even play the game. … Even if I feel good, I’m going to have to have surgery anyway.”
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.