After three perfect innings against the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon, Rays’ starter Alex Cobb was removed from the game due to tightness in his forearm. It’s being called a precautionary decision, and Cobb will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
Cobb was scheduled to throw north of 60 pitches in this mid-spring contest, but he opted to play it safe and come out after feeling intensified discomfort just 32 pitches into his outing. Cobb said he felt some tightness before the game, but decided to make his start anyway.
The positive aspect is that the 27-year-old is minimally concerned. “If it was something I was really concerned of, I probably wouldn’t have thrown today at all,” Cobb said. “This was something I knew about. Throwing this much early in the spring, your forearm, triceps start tightening up, biceps too. It’s one of those three probably.”
Cobb indicated that he’s been dealing with this issue for the past few days, but didn’t think much of it, due to the habitual nature of the spring and the tendency for minor soreness on a regular basis. “It was not excruciating pain, it was just there,” Cobb went on to say. “And I was like, this is kind of pointless to go through and risk longer-term health over an inning.”
Cobb fully expects to make his next scheduled start, although he admits he has “no idea” until he sees how his arm responds after some rest. The Rays can ill-afford to lose their talented right-hander, who they’ve already tabbed their Opening Day starter, for an extended period of time, especially with Matt Moore on the shelf until mid-season and the uncertain statuses of Drew Smyly and Alex Colome.
Despite missing nearly six weeks with a strained oblique, Cobb enjoyed tremendous success last season, posting a 2.87 ERA and 8.06 K/9 rate in just over 166 innings of work.