When Jarred Cosart is activated from the disabled list Thursday he'll be going to the Marlins' bullpen, not the starting rotation.
"Right now he’ll start out in the bullpen and gradually ease back [into the rotation]," manager Dan Jennings said before Wednesday's game against St. Louis.
"Some of the young pitchers have stepped up and certainly have earned the right to go back out [as starters]. We’ll get [Cosart] acclimated back at the major league level and then assess and go from there."
Acquired at the trade deadline from Houston last year, the 25-year-old right-hander began the season in the rotation before an ear infection led to vertigo and he was placed on the disabled list May 18. Prior to Jennings' announcement, Cosart said he assumed he would return as a starter, not a reliever.
"I think I have two years worth of a track record," said Cosart, who went 4-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 10 starts for the Marlins last year before he sputtered to a 1-3 start and 4.08 ERA in seven starts this season.
"Obviously I started off a little slow and then got something I couldn't control with the vertigo. But I feel great. I feel ready to go. Like I said, I feel like I'm a starting pitcher. I know there's a business side of it. There has to be moves made. People are going to be unhappy. But I'm happy to be back in the big leagues and hopefully help us win games and get us on a playoff push we were on when I got here last year."
Cosart's three minor league rehab starts weren't exceptionally sharp. He failed to complete six innings in any of them and walked six in his last start for Double A Jacksonville on Sunday. But he said bad weather and bad umpiring had a lot to do with it. He said he pitched in a monsoon at Round Rock Texas when he gave up seven hits, four earned runs and two walks in 5 1/3 innings on June 16. He said it was 107 degrees in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Sunday."
"From my understanding my rehab starts were about getting my off-speed back," Cosart said. "I think if you look at most major league rehab starts most of them aren't going to go perfect. I was working on a lot of things. I threw I think 40 off-speed pitches last game -- not something I'm going to do here. But I feel really crisp.
"I've been going nuts for three weeks being in minor league cities, hotels, plus I don't know anybody. My only goal is to help the team win whatever way I can, whatever that role is."
The Marlins will start veteran Dan Haren on Thursday as scheduled. Rookie Justin Nicolino will start Friday against the Dodgers and Tom Koehler will now pitch Saturday against L.A. Jennings said he hasn't decided who will start for the Marlins yet on Sunday.
Jennings said the Marlins are sticking with a five-man rotation for now. "If we need to adjust then we’ll do that," he said.
ALVAREZ TO THROW BULLPEN SATURDAY
Henderson Alvarez, the only starting pitcher left who isn't pitching in rehab games or close to making a comeback, will throw a bullpen Saturday. He's been throwing off flat ground from 120 feet for about a week now.
Third baseman Martin Prado (right shoulder sprain) took ground balls Wednesday, but has not started throwing or swinging a bat yet. He's still in the strengthening phase of recovery. He said he still feels discomfort in the shoulder and it's more likely now he won't be coming off the disabled list as soon as he's eligible June 30.
> Giancarlo Stanton leads the majors in homers (26) and RBI (66). The teammates closest to him in both categories are miles behind him: first baseman Justin Bour has six homers and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has 29 RBI.
"He’s carried a lot," manager Dan Jennings said when asked if Stanton is carrying too much of the offensive load. "It’s up to the rest of us to pick up. I go back to the situational part of the hitting, and that’s huge. We have to get runners in from third base with less than two outs. You’ve got to be able to move the runners, execute the bunt, hit and run – all the things that help you manufacture runs.
"Then when you get that big two- and three-run homer from G, that’s huge and that’s icing on the cake. But we also 1 through 9, part of building this team was to lengthen that lineup and have production from top to bottom."
HOCKEY PLAYERS TAKE BP
Six NHL prospects in town for this weekend's NHL Draft at the BB&T Center in Sunrise took batting practice at Marlins Park about five hours before Wednesday game and one managed to hit one over the wall in right field.
Lawson Crouse, a 6-4, 210-pound 18-year-old left winger from London, Canada, was the kid who took Marlins assistant Lenny Harris deep. Crouse said he played youth baseball until he was 14.
"It was awesome," Crouse said of the homer. "I really didn't expect it. I was just focused on making solid contact."
Said Harris: "It surprised me, especially the power he’s got. I know he can hit the crap out of a hockey puck, the strength that he’s got. Try to get in front of those pucks when he’s swinging it would definitely be difficult to stop."
The five other high-end prospects included Conner McDavid, the projected No. 1 overall pick, Dylan Strome, Mitch Marner, Noah Hanifan and Jack Eichel. Hanifan hit a hard line drive that went right between Crouse and Marner as they were running the bases.
"Marner behind me said, 'Heads up. I looked and it was coming right for me," Crouse said. "Whizzed right by me."