Cozart likely to begin '12 as starting shortstop
26-year-old had Tommy John surgery on left elbow in August
CINCINNATI -- When it comes to saying who will be their regular shortstop in 2012, the Reds haven't straight-out declared that rookie Zack Cozart has the job.The club has couched it, just a little. "There's a good chance he is the guy," Reds manager Dusty Baker said recently. "You reserve that little bit to see how his health is and how his arm comes out." The question about Cozart's arm stems from Tommy John surgery performed on his non-throwing left elbow in August. The 26-year-old, who also had a minor surgical procedure to clean out his right ankle in September, was cleared last week to resume full baseball activity. "I'll be beyond 100 percent come Spring Training, proving I am healthy and proving that I think the job should be mine," Cozart said during Redsfest on Dec. 2. The Reds aren't done tinkering with the shortstop position, however. During last week's Winter Meetings, they surveyed the landscape for a veteran shortstop that's versatile at other positions. Theoretically, this person would be backup or insurance to Cozart. Cozart's first big league stint lasted all of 11 games, and was cut short on July 23 vs. the Braves when he collided at second base trying to turn a double play. He was originally diagnosed with a hyperextended elbow, but later it was revealed that he had a torn ligament.
Reds shortstops that have paired with Brandon Phillips since 2006:
|Jerry Hairston Jr.|