The Reds announced today that they’ve placed shortstop Zack Cozart and right-hander Bronson Arroyo on the disabled list. Cozart has been diagnosed with a strained right quadriceps, and his DL stint is retroactive to Sunday. Arroyo has been diagnosed with a strained right shoulder.
The news regarding Arroyo comes just one day after the 40-year-old righty made some characteristically candid comments about the strong possibility that his career could be over. Arroyo, whose comeback attempt in 2017 has resulted in a 7.35 ERA through 71 innings, told reporters, “That could have been the last time I was on the field, yeah.” For now, at least, it seems that he’ll take some time to rest his right arm and assess whether he’s able to continue onward.
As for Cozart, the 31-year-old is in the midst of a career-year at the plate — building nicely upon the power increase he showed in 2015-16. Through 255 trips to the plate this season, he’s batting a ridiculous .320/.404/.562 with nine home runs, and while some of that is clearly fueled by an unsustainable .367 BABIP, there are also legitimate indicators of improvement. Cozart’s 12.5 percent walk rate is a career-best, and he’s chasing pitches out of the strike zone less often than he ever has in his Major League career (26.2 percent).
The extent of the injury to Cozart remains to be seen, though certainly it behooves both team and player for the absence to be minimal in nature. Cozart is set to reach free agency for the first time in his career at season’s end, and any prolonged stay on the DL (for a third straight season) would harm his free-agent stock. And, as an impending free agent, he’s also a prime trade piece for the Reds, as MLBTR’s Connor Byrne noted last night in the latest installment of our Taking Inventory series.
With Cozart on the disabled list, the Reds could move second baseman Jose Peraza over to shortstop for a brief period, turning to one of the many utility options the club possesses to handle second base for a time. That’d include hot-hitting Scooter Gennett and versatile Arismendy Alcantara, each of whom has plenty of experience there.