The Marlins have placed left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Thursday) with a sprain in his pitching elbow and recalled right-hander Jarred Cosart from Triple-A New Orleans to take his place, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (Twitter link). Cosart will start Monday against the Phillies.
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There’s no word on how much time Chen will miss, but elbow injuries are always worrisome with pitchers, and his absence could affect the Marlins’ trade deadline plans. Potentially available starters like Jeremy Hellickson and Andrew Cashner, to name two of several, have been connected to Miami in recent weeks as the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline nears. The Marlins are 53-45 and currently in possession of a National League Wild Card spot, but their lead is tenuous and their rotation could use more capable options to complement ace Jose Fernandez and underrated southpaw Adam Conley.
Chen, whom the Fish signed to a five-year, $80MM deal in the offseason, hasn’t produced to expectations yet in South Florida. The former Oriole has posted quality strikeout and walk rates per nine innings (7.28 and 1.88, respectively), but his 4.99 ERA over 110 frames is more than a full run worse than his 3.89 career mark. Nevertheless, with only Tom Koehler and 24-year-old Jose Urena around as viable options to team with Fernandez and Conley, the loss of the 31-year-old Chen is a notable one for the Marlins.
A former high-end prospect, Cosart experienced significant success in 180 1/3 innings with the Astros and Marlins in 2014, though he hasn’t been the same since. Cosart put up a 3.69 ERA/3.77 FIP/4.15 xFIP in 180 1/3 innings that year. In 84 1/3 frames with Miami dating back to last season, those figures have worsened significantly, plummeting to 5.12/5.12/4.63. While Cosart has generated ground balls at a 57.3 percent clip since 2015, he has offset that by striking out too few hitters (5.87 per nine) and walking far too many (5.12). Cosart hasn’t fared well at the Triple-A level this year, either, so his chances of serving as a respectable fill-in for the starter-needy Marlins look slim.