After his start Monday night against the Seattle Mariners, the Astros shut Jarred Cosart down for the season. I know innings limits and pitcher’s workloads are a touchy subject, but I think this was the right decision.
Jarred Cosart (Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports)
Between his 18 games (17 starts) in AAA and 10 starts in the majors, Cosart pitched 153 innings this season. That total is a career high for the 23 year old. Last season Cosart pitched 87 innings in AA, 27.2 in AAA, and then followed that up with another 18 innings in the Arizona Fall League for a total of 132.2 innings.
Pitching in the Arizona Fall League is a valuable experience for prospects as they get to face off against competition that, as a whole, is better than what they often faced during their minor league season. The problem though, is that it disrupts a young player’s offseason, recovery time, and preparation for Spring Training. That is another factor to take into account when making the decision to shut Cosart down for the season.
On the surface though, it might seem that the Astros are being overly cautious, since the increase in innings is only 21.2. Not to overreact, but in his two September starts, Cosart has only pitched nine innings combined, while walking nine batters and allowing four earned runs, seven hits, and two home runs. So perhaps, Cosart really was tiring, which was causing his performance to suffer.
You want your young players to end the season on a high note, and by shutting Cosart down now, he can do that. There is no reason to overextend Cosart as he is a pitcher that the Astros will be counting on for years to come. Being a little cautious with him in a lost season, really will not have many consequences. It is all about minimizing risk, and you don’t want Cosart to hurt himself as his mechanics breakdown due to the increased workload.
But if you still disagree, then all you need to do, is read the quote from Cosart below excerpted from Brian McTaggart’s article on the Astros’ website.
"“Honestly, I don’t have much left,” Cosart said Monday night. “My body is tired. This is new for me. Missing time last year with the blisters gave me an extra blow, almost a two-week break for my arm. It’s kind of like starting over and I missed no time this year, which was a huge plus for me. That was one of my goals this year, to stay healthy this year and be able to come in next year.”"