Byrd in two-spot; Cozart close
Reds LF Marlon Byrd has caught fire after quite a rough start in a Reds uniform. Entering Thursday, Byrd homered in three straight games. He has a 1.122 OPS with five homers over his last 11 games. Before this stretch, Byrd was homerless in all 14 games played with a .264 OPS.
Manager Bryan Price moved Byrd up to the second spot in the lineup on Tuesday and saw it work well. Price could be keeping Byrd there for a while, but also indicated that could change.
“It depends on how fluid the lineup remains. We’ve been trying to find our consistency, offensively and we’ve had a nice go of it these first couple of games with Marlon hitting second,” Price said on Thursday. “But you know things can change – if we get Devin back behind the plate and when Zack is back full time. At this point in time, I plan on staying with it just because it’s been productive and he’s really caught fire and gotten to his power. At some point, it might be better served more towards the middle of the lineup. We’ve been just trying to find our way this past month to get some connectivity in our lineup where we can be consistently productive. We’ve had two nice games with him there. I don’t think I would disrupt that at this point in time.”
Zack Cozart is close to returning after being out since Sunday with a bruised right index finger and sore left wrist. He took batting practice on the field, did early hitting in the cage from soft tosses on Thursday after making 40 throws on Wednesday.
“There is still inflammation in there right now, but it just feels way better. I swung, took soft toss, and did my normal routine and it felt really good,” Cozart said before BP. “Swinging was obviously my biggest concern and today was a good day, so far at least.”