Jarred Cosart and the Journey to a sub-2.00 ERA


There was certainly a lot of activity in the offseason for young Astros starter Jarred Cosart. Some of us bloggers have been criticized, by the players, for what we write based on the numbers. Though all of us are backing the players, regardless of the level they play in the Astros organization, we take a holistic approach for dissecting their successes — and their failures.

Jarred Cosart is fired up when he takes the mound. He wants to win. His competitiveness is appreciated and we enjoy watching his hunger to pitch to his potential. In the offseason he had stated that he wanted to prove his naysayers wrong and pitch to the tune of a sub 2.00 ERA. With the exception of a Dallas product who now pitches for a west coast National League team, that is very, very had to accomplish as a starting pitcher nowadays.

I want to stress that I am in full support of Jarred Cosart.

Baseball is a game that is defined by the odds being stacked against a player. Even the best hitters in this game get out 7 times out of 10. Pitchers can over power hitters with their speed, change of location, and movement among other factors. But for the most part the baseball field has a lot of real estate. Pitchers are dependent on a good defense along with a great catcher. Cosart still has a high walk rate leading to a not-so-good SO/BB ratio of 1.55 and a HR/9 of 1.02. Overall not truly dominating but sometimes the statistics do not tell the entire story.

Jarred Cosart

(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

With Sunday’s win against the Orioles, Cosart has essentially pitched 1/4 of a full MLB season. The numbers do not truly reflect his performance this season. With a 2-3 record and a 4.30 ERA, someone could easily state that Cosart is far from achieving his goal. But as someone who has paid attention to this season, I know that these are a false measure of the work done on the mound.

Two starts this season have hindered Jarred’s statistics. Obviously the outing in Oakland hurt. Three hits, four walks. Each of those men were able to cross home plate to score. Just 1/3 of an inning pitched. Since then, Cosart has excelled. His record, again, does not tell the entire story. Overall the Astros have held the lead only once in the four starts to give him his lone win in the stretch since. Two games he left with a lead but eventually got a no-decision. And in one game he departed down a run — the offense was shut out that day against Detroit.

Cosart’s last four starts: 25 2/3 IP, 4 QS, 7 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 16 SO, 1-0, 2.10 ERA.

And just for fun, let’s take away the two outings he gave up 4 or more runs (7 against OAK, 5 against LAA).

Cosart 2014 (selected outings): 37 2/3 IP, 5 QS, 10 R, 9 ER, 12 BB, 27 SO, 2-0, 2.15 ERA.

Boom. Take away his worst two starts and it appears that Jarred is very close to zeroing in on his target of a sub-2.00 ERA. But in reality, Cosart has to continue to pitch around those two outings. The season is a long one. As the sample size grows larger, perhaps Cosart will continue to prove that he is able to achieve his goals. And as an Astros fan who is desperate to see this team win lots of games again, I am in full support of Cosart reaching, and SURPASSING, the bar that he has set so high.