Tag: Cincinnati Reds

zack cozart getty

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart helped off field with leg injury


Reds shortstop Zack Cozart exited today’s game and had to be helped off the field with what looked like a potentially serious knee injury.

Cozart’s left knee twisted when he stepped on first base trying to beat out an infield single and he went down immediately while grabbing his leg in obvious pain.

It’s particularly sad news because Cozart was in the midst of a career-year, hitting .259 with nine homers and a .772 OPS in 52 games to top his career OPS coming into the season by 126 points.

Cincinnati could turn to Kristopher Negron at shortstop if the injury is relatively minor, but if Cozart is out for an extended period of time 23-year-old Eugenio Suarez could get the call-up from Triple-A.

The best the top of the MLB draft has had to offer

Reggie Jackson - Oakland Athletics

As a little warmup for tonight’s MLB Draft coverage, here’s a quick look at the best players to come from the top 10 spots in previous drafts. I’m also noting who is picking in each spot tonight.

No. 1: Alex Rodriguez – 1993 Mariners (2015 Draft: Diamondbacks)

For the first 20 years of the MLB Draft’s existence, No. 1 overall picks were largely disappointing. The first ever in 1965 produced Rick Monday, and he was the best of the bunch until Harold Baines in 1977. It wasn’t until 1987 and Ken Griffey Jr. that a future Hall of Famer was picked first overall. He was followed by Chipper Jones in 1990 and, the best of the lot, Rodriguez in 1993.

No. 2: Reggie Jackson – 1966 Athletics (2015 Draft: Astros)

The first overall pick in the 1966 draft, taken by the Mets, was catcher Steve Chilcott. He was the only No. 1 overall pick not to reach the majors in the first 25 years of the draft (the Yankees’ Brien Taylor (1991) was the second). The A’s followed that pick up with Jackson, the lone Hall of Famer to go second overall. Justin Verlander has a chance to join him someday, as might Kris Bryant and Byron Buxton way down the line.

No. 3: Robin Yount – 1973 Brewers (2015 Draft: Rockies)

This one is a pick’em between a pair of Brewers stars; Paul Molitor was chosen in the very same spot four years after Yount. Both went on to become first-ballot Hall of Famers. The third overall pick has been a great spot for third basemen, but little else. That was Molitor’s primary position before he became a full-time DH, and Matt Williams, Troy Glaus, Evan Longoria and Manny Machado were also drafted here.

No. 4: Dave Winfield – 1973 Padres (2015 Draft: Rangers)

The No. 4 spot is home to two Hall of Famers, Winfield and Barry Larkin, plus a guy in Kevin Brown who finished with comparable numbers to some Hall of Famers. It’s also been home to a ton of disappointments; Ryan Zimmerman is the only impact player to come from this spot in the last 15 years, though the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman could get there. 2014 first-round Kyle Schwarber is also awfully promising.

No. 5: Buster Posey – 2008 Giants (2015 Draft: Astros)

There aren’t any Hall of Famers here, though Dale Murphy has his backers and Dwight Gooden certainly had the talent. So, I’ll reach a little bit and anoint Posey the best of the bunch, even if that’s still a little premature. Gooden, Mark Teixeira, Murphy, J.D. Drew and Ryan Braun currently rank as the top five players by bWAR.

No. 6: Barry Bonds – 1985 Pirates (2015 Draft: Twins)

This was a no-doubter, even though the No. 6 spot also produced Derek Sanderson Jeter in 1992. The Yankees got more from their pick than the Pirates did, but that’s not really what I’m going by here.

No. 7: Frank Thomas – 1989 White Sox (2015 Draft: Red Sox)

This could eventually become Clayton Kershaw’s spot, but it goes to the first-ballot Hall of Famer for now. Picked ahead of Thomas in the 1989 draft were two guys who failed to make the majors (Jeff Jackson and Paul Coleman), two guys who might as well not have (Roger Salkeld and Donald Harris), a journeyman in Tyler Houston and No. 1 overall selection Ben McDonald.

No. 8: Todd Helton – 1995 Rockies (2015 Draft: White Sox)

This is the weakest spot in the top 10, with little beyond Helton to salvage it. Jay Bell (1984 Twins) rates as the second best No. 8 pick, and Jim Abbott (1988 Angels) is probably the third for now, though Mike Leake (2009 Reds) should eventually overtake him. The big hope here for the future is 2011 selection Francisco Lindor.

No. 9: Kevin Appier – 1987 Royals (2015 Draft: Cubs)

The No. 9 spot is without a single superstar, though the terribly underrated Appier was an excellent pitcher for a lot of bad Royals teams in his career. Barry Zito is the runner up here. Javier Baez might factor into the mix somewhere down the line.

No. 10: Mark McGwire – 1984 Athletics (2015 Draft: Phillies)

Again, there are no Hall of Famers here. McGwire, though, has the numbers, and Robin Ventura is an inner-circle Hall of Very Good guy. Plus, there’s Madison Bumgarner as a future possibility, not to mention two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. Overall, 41 of 50 No. 10 picks have reached the majors, which is the most of any spot outside of the top three. In comparison, just 29 No. 5 picks and 30 No. 8 picks have reached the majors.

Devin Mesoraco cleared to begin rehab assignment — as a left fielder — Monday at AAA Louisville

devin mesoraco getty

Devin Mesoraco is still unable to maintain a squatting position because of a lingering left hip impingement, but he and the Reds have a devised a plan that will allow him to return to action this season. And perhaps as early as next week.

Mesoraco, who hasn’t made a start at catcher since April 11 and has been on the disabled list since May 25, is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday as the starting left fielder at Triple-A Louisville. He has not played any outfield in the minors or majors, but the Reds are willing to experiment because they want his bat back in the lineup. Hip surgeon Bryan Kelly has signed off on the idea.

MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon says Mesoraco will need at least 3-4 games at Louisville to learn left field and get his timing right. He’s been doing outfield drills for over a week now, so that should help.

The 26-year-old had an .893 OPS, 25 homers, and 80 RBI in 114 games last season.

Matt Kemp homered for the first time since April 18

Matt Kemp

Padres outfielder Matt Kemp has been in a much-publicized slump, entering play Saturday batting a meager .247/.280/.324 with one home run and 26 RBI. He hadn’t homered since April 18, but that changed against Reds starter Michael Lorenzen on Saturday afternoon.

In the fourth inning, with the bases empty and one out, Kemp drove an 0-1 fastball to right-center, bouncing off of the top of the fence and into the stands for a home run. The blast only reduced the Padres’ deficit to 4-1, but at least Kemp got off the schneid. Kemp would add a two-run double in the sixth to cut the Padres’ lead to 6-3, then a two-run single in the eighth inning to break a 7-7 tie. He finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a walk and five RBI.

Morgan Ensberg on giving up certain Astros prospects for Cole Hamels: “I’d quit.”

Morgan Ensberg

Former major leaguer Morgan Ensberg has been serving as a minor leaguer special assignment coach for the Astros over the last couple of years. As a result, he works with the club’s young players at various levels. Understandably, he might be a little touchy at the thought of seeing a handful of them get sent away in a trade.

The Astros have been rumored to have interest in Phillies ace Cole Hamels, which would require giving up a significant haul of prospects. Asked on Twitter if he would give up Brett Phillips, Preston Tucker, and Domingo Santana in a trade for Hamels, Ensberg said, “I’d quit. I wouldn’t trade any of those guys straight up for him.”

John Stolnis, one of the writers for SB Nation’s Phillies blog The Good Phight, challenged Ensberg’s view. They had a back-and-forth for a bit, but Ensberg increasingly resorted to condescension to Stolnis and others who disagreed with him. “You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Ensberg wrote in response to @AntsInWA. He sarcastically suggested to Stolnis, “You should be a GM.”

Snark aside, Ensberg is unrealistic about Hamels’ price tag. Hamels is one of only six pitchers (min. 500 IP) with an ERA below 3.00 since the start of the 2010 season. He’s in the same list as Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and teammate Cliff Lee. Furthermore, Hamels is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’s making $22.5 million per year between 2015-18 and has a $20 million option for 2019 he would likely demand guaranteed. After the 2015 season, he would earn $87.5 million over four years, which is about $100 million and two fewer years than he would get if he were to hit the open market. Ensberg wouldn’t trade any one of Phillips, Tucker, or Santana (a former Phillies prospect) for Hamels, but the reality is that the combination of the three might be too light a return for the lefty.