Reds notes: Cozart ‘feeling good,’ due back Sunday

The Reds’ Zack Cozart rounds the bases after a home run against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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The Reds’ Zack Cozart rounds the bases after a home run against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart was eligible to be activated from the 10-day disabled list Saturday, but manager Bryan Price decided to give the 31-year-old’s right quad one more day to heal.

“We set our sights on Sunday being the day of activation, so he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow,” Price said before Saturday’s game against St. Louis. “He’s done everything and he’s feeling good.”

The quad sent the All-Star starting shortstop to the disabled list for the second time this season July 29. He originally pulled the muscle in San Francisco in May and it had plagued him since.

“I’m feeling way better,” Cozart, who turns 32 next Saturday, said. “I ran the bases in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and that was the best I felt since I injured it in San Francisco — and that was how long ago?”

Cozart is being activated Sunday instead of Saturday in part to avoid playing a day game after a night game right away, he said. Instead, he could play a night game after a day game, getting hours of extra time off.

“It’s more cautionary than anything,” he said. “I want finish the year playing and playing well.”

Drills can’t match the intensity and exertion of games, so Cozart and the Reds won’t know for sure how much progress he’s made until he plays. Either way, he expects to not be able to get the quad fully healed until he can rest after the season.

Peraza plan: Cozart's return leaves Price with the dilemma of what to do with Jose Peraza, who'd lost his starting second base job to Scooter Gennett right before Cozart went on the disabled list. The plan then was to move Peraza around, which might be renewed.

“We’ll move him around the infield, maybe move Scooter to third base on occasion and give (Eugenio Suarez) some time off,” Price said.

Peraza has struggled defensively while starting each of the last 10 games at shortstop, but he had hits in seven of his last eight games, hitting .379 over that stretch.

The Donald: Cozart's donkey, named Donald by his son Cooper, is back at his Northern Kentucky farm home, just waiting to be shipped after the season to Cozart's mother's Nashville-area property.

Cozart hadn’t seen Donald since first baseman Joey Votto made good on his promise and delivered the donkey in late July. Votto had promised to buy Cozart a donkey if Cozart made the All-Star team.

“I need one of those live camera feeds to check up on him,” Cozart said, adding that it was better for Donald to be in familiar surroundings. The donkey has to be trained to ride in a trailer before he can be moved, Cozart said.

“My mom has goats,” he said. “They said it’s important that he has companionship.”

Cozart can’t recall when he started liking donkeys. He remembers his mother’s boss had one on a farm in Texas.

“I think he was mean,” he said. “They kept telling us to stay away from him.”

He does know he enjoys taking Cooper to visit the donkeys that live close to the Reds Goodyear, Ariz., spring training camp.

Feldman close: Right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman has made enough progress in coming back from his right knee injury to be scheduled to start sometime in the next five days.

“Everything is going quite well,” Price said. “It wouldn’t be unusual to see him slotted in the rotation the next time through.”

Feldman (7-7, 4.34) went on the disabled list on July 18, one day after getting rocked by Washington for five hits, including two home runs, five runs in one inning.

“He feels more like he did earlier this season,” Price said of Feldman, who still shares the team lead in starts with 19 despite missing three turns of the rotation.

Price was unable to say whose spot Feldman might take in the rotation.

Adam back: Right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright (11-5, 4.69 earned-run average) is scheduled to be activated from the 10-day disabled list in time to start for St. Louis in Sunday's 1:10 series finale. Wainwright went on the disabled list on July 25, retroactive to July 23, with mid-back tightness. He is 9-11 with a 5.01 ERA in 28 career games, including 23 starts, against the Reds.

Right-hander Homer Bailey (3-5, 7.32) is due to make his ninth start of the season. It will be his 22nd career start against the Cardinals and first since 2015.

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