Cosart has a way of turning a bad day into a beautiful thing

From skeptic, cynic and head shaker to upbeat, excited and hopeful. All in one 24-hour period.

That’s what someone like Jarred Cosart can do for fans. And for a team struggling toward another 100-loss season.

This kid can pitch. Without television, it’s the first time I’ve seen him pitch as a major leaguer.

He’s not only a keeper, but looks to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher for years to come. And, everything that Ed Wade hoped for when he made the trade. Gotta figure that Wade — now back in Philadelphia — is taking some good-natured ribbing from folk in the organization after Cosart’s start to his major league career.

Nonetheless, the Cosart’s pitch-and-miss-the-bat routine is catching quite a bit attention, though he quite obviously still needs to perfect his game. He looks smaller than his 6-3, 180 frame, and pitchers more like a 6-5, 215 guy. More importantly, he seems to have command of his pitches and knows when to throw his repertoire.

Which brings me to this short discussion point today: Other than George Springer, which players in the system or currently in Houston do you drool over? Which ones do you believe will have the Cosart-effect rather than the Chris Burke-effect?

Other than Springer and Carlos Correa, here are the Top 5 can’t-wait-to-see candidates for me:

  • Jonathan Singleton. Still think he’ll make a difference in a big way.
  • Nolan Fontana. Surprise, darkhorse. Great eye at the plate, good defense.
  • Asher Wojciechowski. Like Cosart, seems to know how to miss the bat. Can’t wait to see him back-to-back with Cosart.
  • Mark Appel. Any list should include him. Rough start, but here’s a hunch he could be in Houston late 2014.
  • Lance McCullers/Mike Foltynewicz. Okay, I’m pitcher-happy, but the Astros have a shot at a dominant rotation for the next decade and these two could be part of that.

Chris Burke effect. Yes, I’m hoping there are more Cosarts than Burkes, but here are a few I have concerns about:

  • Delino Deshields. Yes, he may still work out. He’s hitting .310 right now, but 2014 could tell a lot more.
  • Singleton. Yep, he’s on both lists. Hoping his 2013 is just a get-back-in-the-swing-of-things after the drug suspension, but his season is worrisome.
  • Jordan Lyles. No, not a prospect, of course, but not sure where he fits. His relief stint may also be an indication the Astros have concerns, though he could clearly develop into a solid middle rotation guy.

Your thoughts? Your lists?


16 comments on “Cosart has a way of turning a bad day into a beautiful thing

  1. I guess I will be excited to see any new face where all I know is a name and a stat line. Obviously, you have hit on a lot of the ones we all want to see – Springer, Singleton, etc. – so I’m going to throw out a few others:
    Jake Buchanan – Has pitched pretty similar/ maybe a little better than Asher W at AAA.
    David Rollins – 23 year old who was picked up in the JA Happ trade and who pitched well at hitter’s paradise Lancaster and then has been light’s out since the promotion to Corpus.
    Catchers, catchers, catchers – Stassi, Heineman (who Luhnow pointed out as doing a great job on the radio the other day), and others – Castro is giving us a lot more offense than we have had out of that position in awhile, but there certainly can be some improvements possible. (plus young catchers are nice trading chips if you have a surplus).
    Domingo Santana – strruggling a bit at AA – but he is one of the youngest down there.
    Andrew Aplin – He has been an RBI machine down at Lancaster.

    I’m concerned about the same batch you mention. Deshields is hitting well, but it is a repeat year at that level. Lyles might end up in the pen? Singleton – I worry about guys who get nabbed on recreational drugs – what happens when they get a lot more $$$$ to spend. Do they up the types of recreational drugs they dabble in.


    • Dan, historically, guys that smoke pot don’t move on to harder drugs. I haven’t. Singleton did a very foolish, young thing based on the consequences of his actions and has certainly derailed his progress toward the major leagues. But I’d be a lot more worried about Singleton if he got pulled over driving after drinking a twelve pack. Ironic that he probably would not have gotten a 50 game suspension for a DUI. I don’t think pot should be lumped in the same category as other controlled substances banned by MLB. No way it improves performance. And no way it’s nearly as dangerous as a batch of Budweiser.


  2. Not too worried about DDJ. He is not repeating. He was promoted at the end of last year and is young for the league.

    He is volatile. I could see him as a “Burke”.

    Really want to see Folty. When was the last time we had a genuine fireballer?


  3. Cosart reminds me a bit of Oswalt. A stubborn unwillingness to give in. Plays his position very well from a defensive standpoint. Always gives the impression that he’s fully composed. And I sure like the way his ball moves. Hanging a curve is going to happen from time to time. He looks every bit a keeper.

    Wojoski is the next righty I want to see. He’s already a big, sturdy guy! Love to see Buchanan at some point too, but he seems to more of a finesse guy, although does not like to walk guys and that’s a good sign.

    And DanP, right about Rollins. Not many guys get out of Lancaster with respectable stats. And he’s a lefty.

    Right now I’m watching Joe Sclafani equally as much as I am Fontana. That’s why I’m not too worried about Altuve. We’ve got at least a couple of shortstops that could end up over at second.

    I am a bit worried about Singleton, in that he’s really struggled in AAA. That league has really put the brakes on his progress.


    • Dave, I had the same thought (Oswalt similarity) when I watched Tuesday’s game. He actually looks smaller than 6-2, but has similar motion, etc. Now, if he’s anywhere close to as good as Oswalt, that’s exciting.


  4. Yeah Chip, he didn’t have great control last night and still fought his way through a solid six innings. Not many guys his age can do that.


  5. I really like that Oswalt type comparison for Cosart, because what I liked about the kid is that after the first great start – he has struggled more, but struggled well. Just seems to have a great mind set.
    On Singleton, I am not going to get into a big argument about marijuana vs. drinking and the punishment assigned – I’m just saying that guys that get caught once often get caught again. At the moment I’m more concerned about his AAA performance as you guys are – but he is still young. I don’t mind writing it off to youthful dumbness – but I would like to know that whoever he is hanging with is not the problem.


  6. What I saw with Cosart last night, was that he was trying too hard to pitch fast.
    He looked out of breath, and dripping in sweat…….(I know, it was real hot in Dallas
    last night) and with time and slowing down his breathing, he will be fine. I’m curious to see Fontana, he has some good pop in his bat. Singleton has learned his lesson
    and I doubt he will be that stupid again……but as with ANY young kid we hope so.
    REALLY want to see Wojo, and Folty. If those guys live up to expectations we will have a nice problem to put in the rotation. I “think” Stassi is going to catch Bedard
    tonight……since this will be the only time I get to actually SEE the games, I’d like
    to see how he works the pitchers. Thanks for the well wishes, but this situation
    with my back is more serious than I first thought. I will have a bone scan (detects
    cancer) tomorrow…..NOT fun. Please Lord…….let these kids win tonights game!


  7. I 100% agree. I admit it, Cosart is for real.

    Like you, Chip, I haven’t seen him pitch since spring training. He definitely has a live arm, and great arm action behind a plus curveball. His fastball is plus too, not because it cuts or moves that much, per se, but because he has this slight but funky hitch in his delivery that makes it extremely hard to time.

    But what impressed me the most is what I call calm competitiveness. He is intense without being anxious. I think his adrenaline is pumping out there, but he controls it with a cool poise. I like how he talks to himself and fires himself up between pitches, and, for the most part, executes on his pitches.

    I could see him having bad days from time to time when he misses with his curve. That’s what I saw in the spring training game in March — he had iffy control of his curve that day. But he’s showing mastery of it now, and that’s very. very encouraging.

    Imagine Oswalt without his curve. Same deal with Cosart. He must throw it for strikes.

    The last observation is neither a plus or minus, but it makes him pretty unique (in my opinion) — and that is this: his release is very “wristy”. I think he’s mastered the ability to snap his wrist right at the point of delivery. This gives him 96 MPH heat, AND the illusion that the ball “jumps” out of his hand. I bet he played lots of Whiffle Ball as a kid (it’s been my experience that you can’t muscle up on a light ball and throw it hard, you have to augment with a wrist-snap to generate velocity).

    I don’t like what Crane has done to the franchise, and I won’t support this team moving forward. But I can tell Cosart is something special.


  8. Loved watching last nights game. Just thought the better team won. Watching David Martinez for first time right now. If I am ever in a bar fight, I’ll take DMartinez and Chris Carter as my book ends.


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