Zack Cozart’s knee injury has unfortunately proven to be as bad as it looked at the time. He’ll miss the remainder of the season with torn ligaments and tendons suffered when his knee twisted as he stepped on first base Wednesday.
He’s scheduled to undergo surgery, which carries an expected recovery timetable of nine months and means his status for 2016 may be in jeopardy.
Cozart’s injury ends what had the potential to be a career-year for the 29-year-old, who had nine homers in 53 games after averaging 10 homers per 150 games prior to this season. In his absence the Reds figure to use Kristopher Negron and Eugenio Suarez at shortstop.
Cozart is making $2.35 million this season and is under the Reds’ team control for 2016 and 2017 via arbitration, but questions about his status for Opening Day and post-injury ability to remain a defense-first shortstop could make him a non-tender candidate this offseason.
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.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips missed back-to-back games earlier this month after being diagnosed with a painful case of turf toe in his left foot, and now the problem has resurfaced.
Beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Phillips is out of the Reds’ starting lineup on Tuesday evening against the Rockies after reaggravating the toe injury.
And the absence could extend for several days.
Kristopher Negron will fill in at second base.
Phillips, 33, is batting .299/.337/.357 with two home runs and 18 RBI in 40 games this season for the Reds, who are 18-26. He’s making $12 million in 2015 and is owed $27 million between 2016 and 2017.