When Justin Nicolino (2-2, 3.60 ERA) was called up to the Marlins on Tuesday, it was directly related to Jarred Cosart being sent down to the Zephyrs.
Cosart was 0-1 with a 7.98 earned-run average after just three starts with Miami, having allowed 13 earned runs in 14.2 innings, with 15 walks. He was sent back to the Zephyrs to work on control.
Control was not a problem in spring training. He didn’t allow a run in 9.2 innings.
Nicolino also had a good spring with Miami, with a 2.16 ERA in 8.3 innings. However, Cosart and former Zephyrs left-hander Adam Conley were chosen for the opening day roster instead of Nicolino.
Cosart’s spring training and his making the Marlins’ opening day roster were endearing stories. He had missed most of last season with the Zephyrs because of vertigo, coming out of one game sopping wet although he’d hardly pitched an inning.
His turnaround began after the September callups to Miami. He said his current issues seemed to begin at the end of spring training when the Marlins worked with him on lowering his hands during his pitching delivery.
“I just feel kind of out of sync, uncomfortable with all my pitches,” he said.
Nicolino was scheduled to pitch Thursday.
Arturo Reyes, the Redbirds’ probable starter Thursday, was drafted in 2013 in the 40th round out of Gonzaga by Memphis’ parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals.
So, how does someone selected that late become a prospect rated as No. 22 in an organization with a history of success such as the Cardinals?
Reyes apparently was not drafted highly because he is just 5 feet 11 and does not have overwhelming speed on his fastball, throwing it in the 89-92 miles per hour range. However, he has very good control and moves it around. Off of it, he throws a good, tight slider that dives at the back foot of left-handed hitters and doesn’t give right-handers good angles to hit.
And, with his college experience, Reyes is known for keeping his composure, particularly with runners on base.
The Cardinals quickly realized they had gotten a steal. He has progressed quickly through their farm system. As soon as he was drafted, he was sent to Short A State College, then pitched in Full A Peoria in 2014. In 2015, he started at Advanced A Palm Beach of the Florida State League, then spent 17 games with Double-A Springfield before being called up to Memphis for five games.
WHO: Redbirds at Zephyrs
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Zephyr Field, Metairie
STARTING PITCHERS: Zephyrs RH Jarred Cosart (0-0, 0.00) vs. Redbirds RH Arturo Reyes (0-2, 6.75 ERA)
BROADCAST: WODT-AM, 1280