Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 18 with a strained right quad. After initially suffering the injury a week ago, Cozart played Friday and Saturday but it then resurfaced, and the important trade piece will be out in the short term.
“Depending on severity of the strain, Cozart may miss anywhere from two to four weeks,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke University, said. “He will rely on physical therapy, anti-inflammatories and performance training as needed to get back to full health.”
Of course no injury could ever come at a good point in the season, but Cozart’s strain is very poor timing both for the Reds and individually. The 31-year old has had a dreamlike start to 2017, slashing .320 with nine home runs and 33 runs batted in, and may still be a shoe-in for the All-Star Game despite his injury.
But with rebuilding Cincinnati already seven and a half games out of first place in the N.L. Central, Cozart’s production has done little to move the dial, and he is viewed as one of the hottest names as the trade deadline approaches July 31. Cozart is in a contract year, and with quality shortstops always at a premium, expect the Reds to have plenty of suitors as long as Cozart can get back to full health.
On the fantasy front, keep an eye out to see if more information is released about the specific grade of the strain. If Cozart is expected to be out until August, then it may be time to rethink options at shortstop and drop him. But otherwise, if Cozart’s return seems promising, it might be worthwhile to stash the seven-year player on the bench for a few weeks to give Cozart a chance to rediscover some of his early-season magic at the plate.
Utilityman Arismendy Alcántara appears to be receiving most of the shortstop opportunities, but he is not a realistic option barring a major hot streak. An interesting name to keep an eye on is fellow utilityman Scooter Gennett, who has also seen more playing time up the middle with Cozart out. Gennett recently made headlines for his four home run, 12 RBI game, and has been seeing the ball well recently for Cincinnati.