Peraza may stick around rest of season

Peraza may stick around rest of season

CINCINNATI -- When young infielder Jose Peraza was sent back to Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 1 after not getting regular playing time for the bulk of six weeks, he was expected to return as a September callup.

Shortstop Zack Cozart's right knee and left Achilles tendon injuries moved up the timetable to Saturday. Cozart hopes to return later this week, but that doesn't automatically mean that Peraza will go back to Louisville to finish the Minor League season. The 22-year-old could stick around.

"Sometimes those aren't always in my hands. It comes down to how much he'll play while he's here," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Monday. "If Zack is back and we know [Peraza's] not going to play regularly for a week, then there is that chance he could go back."

Cozart is over the right knee soreness he had but is still dealing with left Achilles tendon inflammation and hasn't played since Wednesday.

Once Cozart is back, Price has the option of giving Peraza starts at other positions like left field, center field or second base if any of the other regulars need a break. When the road trip moves to face the Angels on Aug. 29, the designated hitter will be available as another way to get Peraza playing time. Rosters can expand after the road trip on Sept. 1. Louisville's season ends Sept. 5.

"It's realistic to think he could be here the rest of the year, but we'll have to wait and see how that plays out," Price said.

Cozart has yet to do any baseball activity on the field, like taking ground balls or batting practice. When he's able to do that, Price estimated it could be another two days before he's back in the lineup.

"He is making progress. I don't know how close he is to being ready to play," Price said. "He's staying inside and getting pretty much around-the-clock treatment while he's here."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.