Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart joked Monday that he still thinks he is a good hitter, but he will not be able to show it when he returns to the mound Tuesday.
After sustaining an oblique strain Aug. 1 in his first start for Miami, Cosart missed one start and will be limited at the plate Tuesday against St. Louis.
“I’m probably just going to stand there and bunt [Tuesday], and then we will work on that going forward,” Cosart said. “But there probably won’t be much swinging going on [Tuesday]. I’m just trying to get through the game healthy.”
Coming from the American League’s Houston Astros, Cosart hit a high bouncer in his first plate appearance in years in his Marlins debut. He then beat out a barehanded throw for an infield single and cracked a smile at first base.
He had one hit in his entire minor-league career and had solely been a pitcher since playing in Double A. He had not hit regularly since high school.
After getting his first major-league hit, Cosart started feeling some tightness in his lower back and it only got worse during the rest of his outing and the following day. He took the loss in the game after giving up four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Cosart said he is not sure if the at-bat led to his injury, but he has a theory.
“I didn’t really swing at all before I got here and went out there and tried to swing really hard and run hard, so it’s not a good combination for success.”
Still, he said he could have made his last start if the situation was dire, and manager Mike Redmond decided to rest him as a precaution.
Cosart said the rest was actually probably good for his arm, anyway. Now, he has a simple goal for his second start as a Marlin.
“I’m just trying to stay healthy the whole game … and try to get a win,” he said.
Speaking before Monday’s game, Redmond said pitcher Dan Jennings still has a long way to go in recovering from the concussion he sustained when he was hit by a line drive Thursday, but that Jennings would rejoin the team Monday night for an examination by a team doctor.
“He’s still a ways away from doing any baseball activities,” Redmond said. “The good news is that he’s feeling better and is recovering.”
Monday’s game against St. Louis was the first in Miami’s longest remaining homestand this season.
After traveling to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, the Marlins continue their stint as an honorary NL Central member by hosting the Cardinals twice more before the Diamondbacks and Rangers come to Miami for four and two games, respectively.
Redmond said his team should not feel pressure as the season winds down.
“This is the time right now where we should be the most relaxed because we still have a chance,” he said. “We should be having the most fun that we’ve ever had right now … because we are better when we play relaxed and loose.”
Including Sunday’s first-inning blast, nine of Giancarlo Stanton’s past 10 home runs have been solo shots. The stretch comes after Stanton hit 13 of his first 19 home runs this year with runners on base.
Combined, 15 of Stanton’s 29 home runs, or 51 percent, have been solo homers in 2014. Despite the recent stretch, that is still below the 2013 MLB average of roughly 60 percent.
Stanton’s recent glut of solo home runs can be partly attributed to the .193 average current Nos. 1 and 2 hitters Christian Yelich and Jordany Valdespin have combined for during the past two weeks.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Cosart (9-8, 4.51 ERA) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (14-6, 2.28), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-6, 3.99) vs. Cardinals RHP Justin Masterson (5-7, 5.94), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park