Framing the Friars: Cosart’s Continued Struggles, Hits Still Hard to Come By

Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

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Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

The Padres came into this series on a high horse and swiftly took game one. Since then, the bats have gone quiet in two straight losses.

In the previous game, the Padres combined for just one run and four hits in 30 at bats. Today, they combined for one run but with only three hits in 29 at bats against Rockies rookie starter Jeff Hoffman and the Rockies bullpen. Hoffman is now 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA and 26 strikeouts in just four appearances this season.

Jarred Cosart took the mound for the Padres in his fourth start since coming off of the disabled list. He had a solid first outing, but has struggled since then. In his last three starts, he has given up nine runs in just 8 2/3 innings pitched and has not gotten past the fourth inning.

On the more positive side of things, Coasrt has yet to give up a home run this season. He has thrown close to 400 pitches this season and only given up a total of four extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple, zero home runs). But that means that most of the runs being driven in are by way of the single…which is exactly how Sunday went for Cosart.

The problem with Cosart is that he is allowing too many guys to reach base on balls. Like I mentioned earlier, he has given up nine runs in his last three starts, and in those three starts, he’s also given up 12 walks. A total of 12 walks in just 8 2/3 innings averages out to 1.50 walks per inning.

You can see more evidence of command struggles in Cosart’s pitch breakdown.

Courtesy of Baseball Savant

You can see that he is continuously missing the plate, while hardly painting the inside of the zone. He has a total of 389 pitches thrown this season, and of those 389 pitches, only 156 of them were inside the strike zone. A measly 40 percent strike percentage.

To put things in perspective, Clayton Kershaw leads the MLB with a a 69.1 K-% this season. Andrew Cashner has throw a 59.9 K-% this season. Jhoulys Chacin leads the Padres and ranks in at 34th overall in the MLB with a 64.4 K-%.

If Cosart can’t get his command together, he could very well find himself in the bullpen, or down in Triple-A once Trevor Cahill returns from the DL.

A second thing to take note of from the game, was the Padres lineup getting absolutely wrecked by rookie Jeff Hoffman. The only three hits on the game were an Erick Aybar single, a Hunter Renfroe home run (we’ll get to this in a second), and a Franchy Cordero single that followed up Renfroe’s homer in the 5th inning.

Now, back to the long ball. I’m sure we all remember last season when Hunter Renfroe launched a home run ball to the roof of the Western Metal Supply Co. building…the first player to land a ball on the roof during a regular season game. Today, he almost did it again. The home run was a rocket that flew at an angle of 32 degrees at 110 MPH to land 438 feet from home plate.

Renfroe cut the lead to just two in the 5th inning, but the Padres were held to just that Franchy Cordero single the rest of the game.

That home run was Hunter Renfroe’s 11th on the season to tie him with Austin Hedges for third overall on the team (Schimpf 14, Myers 12). The rookie is making his case for NL Rookie of the Year and proving to skeptics that the power he showcased in the PCL was no joke (for those unaware, the ball really flys in the PCL as most teams are located in cities with high altitudes).

One last positive to mention, Allen Cordoba‘s defense in the outfield is improving. We saw him make two misplays the other night in left field, but today he showcased his ability to cover deep into the outfield and put his body on the line for an out.

The Friars played in another difficult game to watch. It’s never fun when you can count a team’s hits on one of your hands. But just like Saturday night, there were a few important takeaways from Sunday afternoon’s game as well. Keep your eyes peeled, even in games like this, because you never know when you’ll catch a flash of the future from these Padre rookies.

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