After coming over from the Astros at the trade deadline Jarred Cosart tweaked his back while swinging and running out an infield single in his Marlins debut on August 1, so when he returned to the mound last night 11 days later manager Mike Redmond had specific instructions: Don’t swing the bat.
Redmond wanted to make sure the 24-year-old right-hander wouldn’t aggravate the back injury while at the plate, so Cosart struck out looking on five pitches in his first at-bat and struck out looking on three pitches in his second at-bat, never taking the bat off his shoulder.
“I didn’t want him taking any swings that were going to hurt him,” Redmond told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Had we had him in a situation where we needed to score a run, we probably would have had to hit for him, knowing he hadn’t taken any swings. Fortunately, we didn’t get in that situation.”
The plan worked, too, as Cosart tossed seven shutout innings against Adam Wainwright in a Marlins victory over the Cardinals. And two of the Marlins’ three runs came when No. 8 hitter Donovan Solano homered off Wainwright with a base open that could have been used to walk him before pitching to the non-swinging Cosart.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.