VIDEO: CINCINNATI REDS FANS AND ZACK COZART TALK ABOUT SIGNINGS
Immediately after Opening Day last season, rookie shortstop Zack Cozart admitted that he was exhausted. After the game, he went back to his apartment and crashed.
This year, despite the longer day (game lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes), Cozart said he had more energy after Monday’s opener.
“Last year, I was so amped up and excited because I had never been through it before. I just wasted all my energy,” said Cozart, who signed autographs for fans Tuesday at the Sports Gallery in West Chester. “I kind of learned how to save up some of that energy, so yesterday was not nearly as bad as last year.”
Opening Day in 2012 was special for Cozart, who became the first rookie shortstop to start the first game of the season for the Cincinnati Reds since 1971.
After that game, Cozart appeared in additional 137 regular season games and five postseason games. Along the way, he helped his team win 97 games and do so without star first baseman Joey Votto, who missed almost three months due to injury.
Unfortunately for Cozart and his team, the Reds were dealt another blow when cleanup hitter and starting left fielder Ryan Ludwick injured his shoulder Monday during the team’s opener.
“Luddy was a big part of our lineup. They signed him back to a two-year deal for a reason,” Cozart said.
“Missing him is going to be tough.”
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Ludwick will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. While the team didn’t announce when he might return, similar injuries have required others to miss 4-to-6 months during recovery, according to Rosecrans.
Last season, Ludwick was a key performer, hitting .340, 12 home runs and driving in 36 runs while Votto was out of the lineup with a knee injury.
This winter, Ludwick, 34, was rewarded for his performance with a two-year deal worth $15 million through 2014, with a mutual option for 2015.
While Ludwick had an MRI on Tuesday, Cozart signed autographs for fans at the Sports Gallery in West Chester Township. He was scheduled to be joined by Homer Bailey, who missed the signing after coming down with flu-like symptoms. Bailey is scheduled to make his first start of 2013 on Friday, according to Reds.com.
Bailey rescheduled his signing date at the sports memorabilia shop for May 9.
For more information on that signing and others at the Sports Gallery, call 513-759-4256 or visit www.asportsgallery.com
For breaking news on the Cincinnati Reds, visit the team’s page on Cincinnati.com.
VIDEO: ZACK COZART INTERVIEW – TALKS ABOUT OPENING DAY, RYAN LUDWICK AND EXPECTATIONS FOR THE CINCINNATI REDS IN 2013