All the boxes were checked and Zack Cozart got plenty of rest. He is now ready to lug his All-Star vote total out to the shortstop position with his “Vida de Burro” warmup shirt.
Cozart at last count was leading the All-Star voting at shortstop and Joey Votto promised to buy him a donkey if he won the vote which will be announced Sunday.
The Reds’ shortstop has been out with a quad injury.
Cozart didn’t like his rest period.
“I’ve been bored. This DL thing isn’t where you want to be,” Cozart said. “I’m excited to be out there with the guys and hopefully help us win.”
The distraction with the All-Star talk is over.
“I’m glad the voting is over with. I get that out of the way and now we just focus on winning games. It’s been great. The Reds have done a good job promoting it. It would be really cool to be a starter and make the team,” Cozart said.
The Reds’ sent reliever Kevin Shackelford to Louisville to open the roster spot, giving the Reds a five-man bench again.
The Reds have announced that Jackson Stephens will start on Saturday, taking the place of Brandon Finnegan
Stephens was called up on May 30, when Robert Stephenson was optioned to Louisville but did not pitch.
Stephens was the Reds 18th-round choice in the 2012 draft out of Oxford (Alabama) High School. The 22-year old righthander started the season at Louisville where he was 4-4 in 14 starts with a 4.97 ERA.
“Jackson got off to a very slow start at Triple A,” Bryan Price said. “He’s pitched better as of late. It is a good message for all of the guys in our system. We don’t pick up the stat sheet and look at the stats and say this is who you are. Jackson has been competing a lot better in the strike zone. We like his mix of pitches. He has four pitches and throws them all for strikes. This is a great opportunity to get him up here and get his feet wet.”
Stephens will be”
25th pitcher to appear in a game for the Reds
13th starting pitcher
7th rookie starter
8th rookie pitcher to make his debut this season
11th player to make his debut this season