It had been nearly two weeks since Kris Bryant last homered. Coincidentally, it was a two-homer performance against the Dodgers on June 22. Bryant got back on the board in a big way on Saturday night against the Marlins.
The Cubs’ third base prospect drilled a two-run home run to left-center in the first inning off of Jarred Cosart to start the scoring in the first inning. He tacked on with a grand slam in the second inning to chase Cosart from the game.
Bryant, 23, now has 12 home runs with 49 RBI and a .278/.381/.486 triple-slash line.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant may have single-handedly resulted in Marlins starter Jarred Cosart’s demotion to Triple-A following Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field. Cosart lasted only 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Six of those runs came on two Kris Bryant home runs: a two-run shot in the first inning, and a grand slam in the second. Cosart also issued a bases-loaded walk to Dexter Fowler.
Cosart has been hampered by a hamstring injury and a bout with vertigo during the season. Saturday’s start was only his ninth of the season. He heads to Triple-A New Orleans, per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, ahead of the Marlins’ activation of Michael Morse, which will come on Sunday. Morse has been sidelined since May 23 with a sprained finger and also suffered a back injury during his rehab, slowing his return.
Tom Koehler is dealing with neck/back issue, so the Marlins have called up prospect left-hander Justin Nicolino to make his major league debut tonight against the Reds.
Acquired in the blockbuster 12-player trade with the Blue Jays in November of 2012, Nicolino was ranked as the organization’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America over the winter. The 23-year-old had a 2.87 ERA over 13 starts with Triple-A New Orleans this season. He’s known for his good control and ability to induce ground balls, but he has averaged just 6.5 K/9 in the minors.
Koehler told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he expects to be ready for his next turn in the rotation, so Nicolino might only be up for one start. Keep in mind, the Marlins also have Jarred Cosart and Jose Fernandez close to returning from the disabled list.
Jose Fernandez isn’t the only pitcher working his way back for the Marlins. According to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald, Mat Latos threw a bullpen session today at Marlins Park and is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week.
Latos has been sidelined since May 21 due to left knee inflammation. After watching today’s bullpen session, Marlins manager Dan Jennings said that it “looks like his knee is definitely feeling stronger.” The plan calls for him to make two rehab starts before the team considers bringing him back.
It’s been a struggle for Latos so far this season. The Marlins were expecting him to be a big piece in their rotation after acquiring him from the Reds over the winter, but he owns an ugly 6.12 ERA and 36/16 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings over nine starts.
As for the other sidelined Fish, Jarred Cosart pitched in an extended spring training game today after hitting the disabled list due to vertigo earlier this month. Henderson Alvarez is likely the furthest away in the group, as he’s still dealing with shoulder inflammation and isn’t expected to play catch again for another week.
There’s been quite a bit of chatter among Mets fans in recent days about whether prospect Dilson Herrera would be a better option at second base than Daniel Murphy. Well, Murphy quickly changed the conversation with this go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning against the Marlins tonight:
Murphy also made an outstanding defensive play in the bottom of the ninth as the Mets went on to win 3-1. The game took just one hour and 58 minutes to complete thanks to strong pitching performances from Dillon Gee and Jarred Cosart.
The Mets improved to a major league-best 15-5 with tonight’s victory. Meanwhile, the World Series favorite Nationals fell to the Braves tonight for their sixth straight loss. They are now 7-13 on the year and eight games back in the National League East. There’s still a long way to go, but that’s pretty stunning.