Cleared to throw, Cosart could return this month

Cleared to throw, Cosart could return this month

ATLANTA -- Jarred Cosart, dealing with a left inner ear disorder, has been cleared to throw on Friday, and the Marlins have not ruled out the possibility of the 25-year-old pitching in the big leagues before the end of August.

Cosart, who opened the season as Miami's fifth starter, has had a rough year -- performance and health-wise. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on July 4, and during a start for the Zephyrs on July 17, he had a relapse with a vertigo issue.

Cosart initially went on the disabled list with vertigo in May. After feeling unsteady on the mound twice, it raised concerns to the point the right-hander went to Chicago earlier this week to see a specialist.

A series of tests revealed Cosart is dealing with an inner ear disorder, which has affected his balance and gravity. He has been throwing in recent days and not experiencing any unsteadiness.

"He's going to go to Jupiter to begin throwing," manager Dan Jennings said. "Hopefully sometime soon we'll get him some games with the [Class] A ball club, and then get him back here with us."

Best-case scenario is Cosart can pitch for Miami before Sept. 1. If not, he could be a callup for the final few weeks.

Foremost, Cosart is aiming to be fully healthy before returning to the big leagues. The inner ear disorder has impacted a nerve that controls his balance and gravity. Doctors believe Cosart has dealt with his condition all season, which may explain his 1-4 record with a 5.36 ERA in nine games (eight starts).

Acquired from the Astros in 2014, Cosart projects to be a part of Miami's rotation in 2016.

How he responds to full baseball activities beginning on Friday will help determine if the right-hander is back before September.

"He's been throwing. So now it's just a matter of building him back up," Jennings said. "It would be great if it is sometime in August, because we could use the depth there."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.