You might have already forgotten about Jarred Cosart, the right-handed pitcher the Marlins acquired from the Astros before the trade deadline in 2014.
When Miami added him to the rotation, the club was confident he would be a middle-tier starter. However, during stints in the Marlins’ rotation each of the last three seasons, including this one, Cosart has struggled.
Cosart was unable to help the Marlins make a playoff run in 2014, but he still pitched well. Over 64.0 innings, Cosart pitched to a 2.39 ERA and 3.32 FIP. In 84.2 innings the last two seasons, though, Cosart has posted a 5.12 ERA and an identical FIP.
He has been plagued by injuries, but since being sent to Triple-A New Orleans has faired well. Over 39.0 innings, he’s pitched to a 3.92 ERA and 5.60 FIP.
After adding Fernando Rodney to their bullpen, the Marlins have expressed interest in adding a controllable starter. The club has been linked to Jake Odorizzi, Drew Pomeranz, Sonny Gray, Ervin Santana and every other starter expected to be available for a reasonable price.
If Cosart is given an opportunity to start in the second half and has success, there’s no reason for the Marlins to pursue another starter. Cosart has to capitalize on the opportunity, though.
It’s a bit too soon to give up on Cosart, mainly because he isn’t arbitration eligible until next season and won’t be a free agent until 2020. The Marlins acquired him to be a consistent major league starter. Now, he needs to prove he can pitch like one.
Before they move another top prospect, which in a trade seems inevitable given the current landscape of the starting pitching market this summer, the Marlins should give Cosart another opportunity to prove he can retire major league hitters routinely.
Miami has already taken this approach with Justin Nicolino, who has pitched to a 5.57 ERA and 4.69 FIP over 64.2 innings with the Marlins. He earned a rotation spot, lost it and is now fighting to keep it.
If Cosart wasn’t an option and Nicolino continued to struggle, the Marlins almost certainly would have to add another starter. But that’s not the case.
As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, let’s not forget about Jarred Cosart. If he thrives in the second half, no trade is necessary and the Marlins remain in contention.