dylan cozens

Rays reportedly add former Phillies outfielder Dylan Cozens

Rays reportedly add former Phillies outfielder Dylan Cozens

There are certain teams around baseball that always seem to be ahead of the curve. Teams, who, when they sign or trade for a player with potential, you almost expect the deal to work out.

These teams, at least the last few seasons, have been the Rays, Dodgers, Astros and Yankees.

Tampa Bay this week agreed to a two-year, minor-league deal with former Phillie Dylan Cozens, according to The Athletic.

Cozens was designated for assignment by the Phillies on trade deadline day, July 31. It was expected that his tenure with the Phillies was soon coming to an end as the organization kept adding outfielders, Cozens never found another gear at Triple A or the majors that saw the swings-and-misses decrease, and then a foot injury required surgery that would sideline him for most of 2019.

Cozens has immense raw power; that's always been the case. He has immense swing-and-miss in his offensive approach; that's always been the case. He hit 40 homers at Double A in 2016, 27 at Triple A in 2017 and 21 in a half-season at Triple A in 2018. He also struck out a combined 504 times in those three seasons.

Yet still, when you see the Rays take a low-risk chance on a guy like this, you wonder if in a couple of years we could see Cozens have a Carlos Pena-like season, hitting 35-plus homers with a low batting average and a ton of strikeouts.

If it does improbably happen, it will be a tough pill to swallow for Phillies fans, but remember that Cozens didn't have much of a role here. The Phillies have Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen under contract, Jay Bruce for another year, and Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn under team control. There's also Mickey Moniak at Double A. Nick Williams is still in the picture somewhat, though his run with the Phillies also appears to be nearing its end.

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Phillies activate Jean Segura from injured list, send Dylan Cozens to Triple A Lehigh Valley

Phillies activate Jean Segura from injured list, send Dylan Cozens to Triple A Lehigh Valley

As expected, Phillies shortstop Jean Segura has been activated from the 10-day IL. Segura had been out since April 16 with a hamstring strain.

The Phillies badly missed his .328 batting average and .384 OBP (see story). With Segura out, they were forced to use three different shortstops: Scott Kingery, Phil Gosselin and Sean Rodriguez.

Kingery is also on the IL with a hamstring injury and is more than a week away from returning.

With Segura out, the Phillies went 4-6 and averaged 2.9 runs per game.

To make room for him on the active roster, the Phils optioned outfielder Dylan Cozens to Triple A.

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How will Phillies handle center field with oft-injured Roman Quinn down again?

How will Phillies handle center field with oft-injured Roman Quinn down again?

The Phillies are going through centerfielders as fast as they’re going through shortstops.

Roman Quinn, who went down with a strained right groin muscle in Wednesday night’s game in New York, was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday. He was replaced on the roster by outfielder Dylan Cozens.

Quinn is going to be out a lot longer than 10 days. An MRI performed on Thursday afternoon revealed a Grade 2 strain, which is worse than a Grade 1 or mild strain. Quinn is a player who relies on the speed that his legs generate. The Phillies will be very cautious in bringing him back.

“I don’t know what the timetable is but it’s at least several weeks,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

Quinn is the second centerfielder to go down in a week. Odubel Herrera went on the IL with a mild hamstring strain last week. He could be ready to return sometime next week, according to Kapler. Also in the last week, the Phils lost shortstops Scott Kingery and Jean Segura to hamstring injuries. Segura is expected back in the lineup Saturday or Sunday.

With Quinn and Herrera out, Aaron Altherr got the start in center field Thursday night. Kapler said it was possible that Andrew McCutchen could get some time in center in the next few days. That would allow seldom-used Nick Williams a chance to get a start in left field. It’s also possible that Cozens could help fill the breach in center. Williams played some center field two years ago, but Kapler does not seem inclined to use him there.

“I don’t want to say it’s off the table but it’s not at the front of my mind right now,” Kapler said. “I’d prefer to ease him back in in left field if we’re going to go that route.”

Quinn, three weeks shy of his 26th birthday, has been plagued by a long list of injuries since being selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2011 draft.

He has missed significant time with a torn quadriceps, a torn Achilles tendon, a strained elbow ligament, a torn ligament in his middle finger, a concussion and a broken toe. He missed the start of this season while recovering from an oblique strain suffered in spring training.

“Same ol’, same ol’,” Quinn said Thursday. “I’ve never had [a groin] issue before. Put it on my list.”

Quinn, a 5-foot-9 inch package of lean muscle, has done about everything he can to avoid injuries. He spent the winter in Clearwater two years ago in a program dedicated to stretching. He’s had his diet analyzed.

Another injury, suffered running out a bunt, has left him very frustrated and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever be able to exhibit the durability needed to be an everyday player.

“Roman is not trying to get hurt,” Kapler said. “To his defense, he has done everything in his power to stay on the field and his body has just not cooperated. I feel terrible for him. He is an uber-talented individual. He’s got special talent. He’s as athletic as anyone on the field. He’s as fast as anyone on the field. He’s got speed, power, athleticism, quickness. We’re doing everything in our power to keep him healthy. I feel personally responsible for digging in and not leaving any stone unturned for helping him stay on the field.”

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