Miami Marlins 2014 Grades: Jarred Cosart
By Chris Logel
Sep 26, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jarred Cosart (23) pitches during the first inning Washington Nationals in game one of a baseball doubleheader at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Jarred Cosart: B-
I have to start this out by apologizing to Jarred Cosart, Mike Hill, and Dan Jennings. It is no secret that some of the moves that the Marlins front office have made in recent years haven’t exactly panned out for the Fish, but the early returns on the midseason acquisition of Jarred Cosart are excellent, despite my detest of the trade originally.
Cosart was acquired at the last-minute of the trade deadline on July 31st this year, and ended up making 10 starts for Miami. Cosart and Enrique Hernandez were the main return that the Marlins received when they sent Jake Marisnick and Colin Moran to the Houston Astros. I still maintain that the Marlins gave up entirely too much, (I think Colin Moran is going to come back to haunt them) but it seems that they have acquired a young pitcher who is cost controlled and talented.
Cosart had gained a reputation for having character issues in Houston, but I am pleased to say that none of that appeared during the brief 2014 in a Marlins uniform. He was a fiery guy, someone who had the makings of a leader, and seemed to mesh well with the clubhouse in Miami.
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The move to the National League seemed to do Cosart well, as he shaved 2 runs off of his ERA, and was arguably the Marlins most consistent pitcher at the end of the year. He finished with a 2.39 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 64 innings. His FIP suggests that he was more than a little fortunate (3.32) and his xFIP wasn’t a fan (3.96), but Marlins fans were certainly fond of him by seasons end. He kept the Marlins in games that he pitched, which is really all you can ask for.
They say you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Thankfully for Cosart, that wasn’t the case. His first game with the Fish resulted in 4 earned runs through 5 innings. Fortunately for Marlins fans, that was the worse that they would see of Cosart who didn’t allow more than 3 earned runs in a game the rest of the season. He was the hard-luck loser more than a couple of times on his way to a 4-4 record for Miami.
His peripherals indicate that he may have been fortunate over his final 10 starts, something to watch for moving forward. He is not a strikeout pitcher (5.63/9IP), and he relies on the ground ball to stay in games. One concerning number was his walk ratio. 3.09 walks/9IP is not a number that will be conducive for success in the future. Despite the walks, he was able to produce a 77.9% strand rate, minimizing much of the damage.
Another strength of Cosart’s was his ability to control the long ball. He allowed fly balls on only 27.6% of batters that made contact, and then only 3.7% of that number managed to deposit the ball into the bleachers. Jarred’s fastball was his bread and butter, throwing it 72.8% of the time, while also featuring a curveball and occasional changeup.
His belief in his fastball was supported by the statistics that gave positive ranks to his fastball (5.1), but also support the idea that he shouldn’t be afraid to throw his other two pitches (2.5, 2.3).
This performance has all but assured Cosart of a spot in the Marlins starting rotation in 2015, regardless of the crowded status of pitching in South Florida. Look for Cosart to be the 3rd or 4th option next year. He may not perform up to this performance, but a solid starter is definitely in the cards for the young right-hander.
What did you thing about the grade for Cosart? Let us know your grade in the comments below!