The Houston Astros' slow evolution from perennial cellar dwellers to a squad full of young burgeoning talent may have just begun. The club promoted pitching prospect Jarred Cosart from Triple-A Wednesday evening, and have scheduled the right-hander to make his big-league debut on Friday, reports Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.
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Cosart will have his work cut out for him in his first MLB start, as he'll face the Tampa Bay Rays and pitch opposite Cy Young winner David Price. He will take the spot in Houston's rotation vacated by Lucas Harrell, who was recently demoted to the bullpen.
The 23-year-old Cosart is the first top prospect that GM Jeff Luhnow has promoted to the big-league club since taking over as general manger in 2011. Acquired in the deadline deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies, the young right-hander fell off the prospect radar some after a mediocre 2012 season, but was still rated by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in the Astros' system.
Cosart throws a hard sinker that sits in the mid 90s, but has been known to touch 99 miles per hour. Per Baseball America, the pitch has a lot of life down in the zone, but he has trouble controlling it at times. The right-hander complements his fastball with a power curveball that reaches 81-82, and a straight change-up.
Cosart put up solid numbers in his first few months at Triple-A this year, earning himself a spot in the Astros' rotation. The right-hander owns a 3.29 earned-run average and 9.0 strikeouts per nine in 93 innings over 17 starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year, which are great stats for the Pacific Coast League.
To make room on the roster for Cosart, the Astros demoted outfielder Jimmy Paredes back to Triple-A.