Jarred Cosart feels like a brand new person these days. The Marlins certainly hope so.
A week removed from being fined for betting on sports with bookmakers and cleared from of any severe punishment after a league probe did not find evidence he bet on baseball, the 24-year-old right-hander will make his first start of the season Saturday afternoon against the Rays.
He said Friday he's eager to "get the first one out of the way and get rolling.”
"The real marathon starts tomorrow for me, and hopefully, 35 starts and hopefully more if we get to October," Cosart said. "I kind of [feel] like a new person getting that [investigation] off my hands, and carrying over [what happened] my last start of spring training, kind of with a clean slate. Just [being] able to work through that with the team behind me and family and friends that were behind me [felt good].”
Cosart, who ran into trouble with baseball after tweets surfaced from his Twitter account indicating that he might have placed sports-related bets, said he's staying off social media for now.
“We’re going to work something out with my agency, maybe like a fan page or something," he said. "Obviously, that was kind of a freak incident and it’s behind us now. Hopefully we won’t have anything else going forward.”
As for the blister on his middle finger which showed up right around the same time baseball started investigating him, Cosart said he's happy to be healthy. Blisters, he says, have nagged him for years.
“I usually get one a year," he said. "It’s weird. The past three years, they’ve all been at different times. Last year I had it in the middle of the year, the year before didn’t happen until my last start and I think back in the minor leagues, it just varied. I was actually really happy it happened when it did in spring training, got it out of the way. Usually, knock on wood, it’s once a year. Hopefully it’s out of the way for the rest of the year.”
> Manager Mike Redmond said he hasn't considered making any changes to the lineup to get the offense rolling. The Marlins scored only three runs combined in their first three games, the second-fewest in franchise history to start a season.
"Not after three games," Redmond said of any lineup changes. "I like our lineup. I really like our lineup. We had some opportunities to score some runs. I think we all saw that. It didn’t happen, but it’s going to happen. Hopefully it’ll be tonight."
ZOMBIE NIGHT AT MARLINS PARK
After a day off, the winless Marlins (0-3) are back at it tonight in search of their first victory of the season on Zombie Night.
The first theme night of the season (they'll have one every Friday home game) promises a fan-friendly experience that includes an appearance from actor Iron E. Singleton, who played T-Dog on the hit AMC show the Walking Dead. Fans who purchase the VIP special event package will receive a game ticket, Marlins Zombie Kit, T-shirt and VIP pregame party with prizes, games and zombie face painting. Fans are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite zombie costume and to stay in their seats following the game for a fireworks show presented by Pepsi.
Turns out by the way that pitcher Tom Koehler is a big fan of The Walking Dead. He apparently is the only one in the Marlins clubhouse. First baseman Mike Morse prefers watching The Real Housewives of Miami and reliever Mike Dunn is more of a Big Bang Theory fan.
"I haven't seen the season finale, but I've watched every other episode," Koehler said of The Walking Dead. "I like Daryl. I like him walking around with his crossbow taking people out and picking the arrow back up and moving forward. He's really evolved over the seasons too."
Would Koehler survive a zombie apocalypse?
"No. We're pretty pampered in here," he said. "I don't know if all of a sudden I could go off drinking water every six days or finding a random deer that's still alive somehow. I don't think I'd be okay.
"[Catcher Jeff] Mathis would. He'd find a way. He has a barn. He basically lives in a zombie apocalypse by choice. That would be my pick to survive."
What would be Koehler's weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
"I'd have a crossbow, samurai sword mix," he said. "So I'd be able to slice the zombies up if I ran out of arrows."
Rays (1-2): 1. Kevin Kiermaier CF, 2. Steve Sauza RF, 3. Asdrubal Cabrera SS, 4. Evan Longoria 3B, 5. Desmond Jennings LF, 6. Allan Dykstra 1B, 7. Logan Forsythe 2B, 8. Rene Rivera C, 9. Steve Geltz RHP.
Marlins (0-3): 1. Dee Gordon 2B, 2. Christian Yelich LF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Micahel Morse 1B, 5. Martin Prado 3B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Dan Haren RHP.