Phillies outfielder Dylan Cozens underwent surgery to remove a bone spur and repair cartilage in his left big toe, according to a team announcement. It is expected that he will miss the remainder of the season, Tom Housenick of The Morning Call reported on Twitter.
Soon to turn 25, the former second-rounder had already faced a difficult roster proposition with the Philadelphia organization. The left-handed-hitting slugger is on the 40-man, but really didn’t fit the needs at the MLB level of a team that installed Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen in the corners over the winter.
Cozens shot up prospect boards after a monster 2016 season in which he launched forty long balls at the Double-A level. But his follow-up effort at Triple-A wasn’t as impressive. Though he produced at the highest level of the minors in 2018, Cozens also struck out 124 times in 348 plate appearances and struggled in a brief attempt at the majors (including 24 strikeouts in 44 trips to the plate).
This year, Cozens opened with a .167/.333/.462 slash line and six home runs in 99 plate appearances at Triple-A. While it’s encouraging to see the walk-rate bump, that’s still a whopping volume of strikeouts.
If indeed he’s unable to return to the field of play in 2019, it’s quite possible Cozens will end up being sent elsewhere at season’s end. He’ll presumably be shifted to the 60-day IL for the time being, but would clog up the 40-man once the season draws to a close. Cozens will be out of options in 2020.