The Angels announced Thursday evening that they’ve placed infielder Zack Cozart on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to April 24) due to a neck strain. In his place, the Halos have recalled infielder Luis Rengifo for his big league debut.
Cozart, 33, signed a three-year contract with the Halos prior to the 2018 season but, to this point, has had much of his Halos tenure ruined by injuries. A shoulder subluxation last year limited Cozart to just 58 games last season, and his output when healthy enough to take the field, was nowhere near his brilliant 2017 levels. In 253 plate appearances last year, Cozart hit only .219/.296/.362, and his 2019 line of .109/.157/.125 is markedly worse.
Cozart’s injury occurred when he collided with DJ LeMahieu upon diving back into the second base bag a couple of nights ago. There’s no word from the Angels organization yet on how long he’s going to be sidelined.
In place of Cozart, the Angels are turning to the 22-year-old Rengifo — a prospect widely regarded as one of the ten best in a dramatically improved Halos farm system. The Venezuelan-born Rengifo skyrocketed three levels through the system last year, hitting .299/.399/.452 with seven homers and a whopping 41 stolen bases along the way.
The switch-hitting Rengifo’s scouting reports at Fangraphs and MLB.com laud his above-average speed and give him average to above-average marks in terms of hit tool, glove and throwing arm. He’s off to a slow start in 2019, hitting .240/.284/.387 through 81 plate appearances. He’ll join an Angels infield mix that has Andrelton Simmons entrenched at shortstop, with David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella serving as options at second base and third base.