Padres right-hander Jarred Cosart will undergo elbow surgery to “remove loose bodies,” per a team announcement. San Diego acquired Cosart in the summer trade that sent Andrew Cashner to the Marlins.
There is no indication as of yet as to whether the operation will impact his offseason timeline in any appreciable way. But this sort of procedure isn’t all that unusual; prior suggestions were that Cosart was dealing with a bone spur, which is the kind of issue that is frequently addressed at this time of year.
Regardless, there’s uncertainty any time a pitcher goes under the knife. In this case, though, it likely won’t have much of an impact on the Pads’ offseason plans. Cosart wasn’t able to reach three full years of major league service because he was optioned for part of the year, and it doesn’t appear that he’ll qualify for Super Two status after entering the season with two years and twenty days of service already in the bank. Cosart’s 2016 campaign was split roughly evenly between the big leagues and minors.
San Diego likely has already baked plenty of question marks into its assessment of Cosart anyway. The 26-year-old has always been seen as a talented pitcher, and logged excellent results for stretches earlier in his career. Though his strikeout-to-walk ratio has never impressed — it stands at 6.2 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 for his career — Cosart generates quite a few groundballs and has successfully tamped down on home runs when at his best.
Ultimately, there still seems to be quite a lot of work to do for the Padres to get value out of Cosart, though there’s also minimal risk since the organization isn’t expected to contend in 2017 and he’ll seemingly play at the league minimum. His 57 major league frames this year weren’t terribly inspiring, as he walked more batters than he retired via strikeout and allowed an even six earned runs per nine innings. Cosart also sported a career-low 92.3 mph average fastball. On the bright side, he did top his annual best with a 60.9% groundball rate.