Miami Marlins Option Jarred Cosart to AAA, Reinstate Michael Morse off DL


In spirit of the fourth of July, the Chicago Cubs, particularly rookie Kris Bryant, put on a firework show for Miami Marlins’ starter Jarred Cosart. Bryant hit two home runs, including a grand slam that knocked Cosart out of the game. 

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Cosart, making his first start since May 13th due to a spell with vertigo, allowed 7 earned runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings of work. Cosart struck out 2 and walked 3 in this outing, struggling with his command early and often, including a bases loaded walk allowed to Dexter Fowler.

The start was a disappointing one for Cosart, to say the least. But even then, a demotion to Triple-A was a bit surprising to hear about.

Michael Morse had returned to Miami last week after aggravating his back during a rehab stint from nursing a finger injury. He had been all but ready to return to the big leagues, so it makes sense with Giancarlo Stanton out the team wasted little time to bring him back to the majors.

With the Marlins carrying 13 pitchers and just 12 hitters, it was obvious the team would be optioning a pitcher to the minors when they activated Morse. I doubt the plan ever included the pitcher being Cosart.

Jarred Cosart has made 8 appearances (7 starts) on the season and it hasn’t been pretty. In 45 1/3 innings of work, Cosart has walked 20 and struck out just 29. This and his 18.4% home run rate have led to a 5.36 ERA and a 5.20 FIP. His xFIP is much better at 4.36, but still not what the Miami Marlins expected out of him coming into the season.

Maybe the Marlins spotted a mechanical issue in his delivery and hope for Cosart to work on that over the next 10-15 days in the minors. Or they could have soured on him. I’ve never been particularly high on Cosart and was never a fan of the Marlins trade to acquire him in the first place.

David Phelps, who pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball in relief of Cosart today, could be an option to take Cosart’s spot in the rotation. Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena, who pitched a complete game shutout Saturday night, are not options, as they will not be eligible to return to the majors for at least 10 days, as they both were optioned to Triple-A in the past week.

It will be interesting to see how much playing time Michael Morse gets upon his return to the majors. Justin Bour has taken the majority of the plate appearances against right-handed pitching since Morse went down, and has handled that role well.

Bour owns a .283/.359/.559 slash line against right-handed pitching, but has rarely seen the field against left handers. With Morse back, that trend should continue, as Morse and Bour should form a nice platoon at first base.

The issue, though, has been Morse’s lack of production. On the season, Morse owns a .211/.268/.289 slash line with a 55 wRC+. His -0.8 fWAR is tied with Donovan Solano as the worst mark on the team. A major reason for his struggles, his 28% strikeout and 6% walk rates.

With Morse back, the playing time for veteran Jeff Baker, who has platoond with Bour, should decrease significantly, unless the Marlins give Morse some playing time in the outfield. But that would not be a smart recommendation with his recent back woes and career long inability to play in the outfield.

With the trade deadline nearing and the Marlins potentially looking to move their surplus of pitching, it will be interesting to see how the roster sets up over the rest of the month.

Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!

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