Zack Cozart Not Progressing

Infielder Zack Cozart’s Murphy’s Law tenure with the Angels continues. Out since late May because of left shoulder tightness, Cozart revealed Tuesday that he’s not progressing toward a return, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

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“It’s not too promising,” said Cozart, who will visit a doctor Monday. Cozart’s still “hopeful” he’ll play again this season, per DiGiovanna.

For Cozart, this is the latest unsettling development in an Angels stint loaded with disappointment. The former Red joined the Halos on a three-year, $38MM contract in December 2017, though injuries and underperformance have defined his career since then.

Always known for his defense, Cozart found another gear at the plate during an eyebrow-raising .297/.385/.458 showing (140 wRC+) with 24 home runs in 507 attempts in 2017 – his last season in Cincy. Cozart hasn’t come anywhere near that line as an Angel, though, nor has he been durable. The 33-year-old underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last June, thus limiting him to 58 games and 253 PA, and came back this year to total 38/107 in those categories before landing on the IL with yet another shoulder problem. Worsening matters, Cozart has batted a miserable .190/.261/.296 (55 wRC+) with five HRs and minus-0.6 fWAR in 360 trips to the plate as an Angel.

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Now, Cozart’s no longer the necessary piece the Angels regarded the veteran as when they signed him. Primary second baseman Tommy La Stella and main third baseman David Fletcher have each blown by Cozart on the team’s pecking order to help comprise a respectable infield alongside shortstop mainstay Andrelton Simmons. Although, it’s far from ideal Cozart’s eating so much payroll space. The Angels will owe him another $12.6MM-plus in 2020 to conclude his ill-fated deal.

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