Fresh into the early part of the 2015 MLB season, yet another young pitcher has gone down. This time the unlucky pitcher is the right-handed starter Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays. Cobb is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in order to repair the torn UCL in his right elbow as reported by Bill Chastain of MLB.com.
It’s a very unfortunate fate for Cobb. He was already trying to work his way back from what was at first diagnosed as right forearm tendinitis. Unfortunately things have not gone as planned as he was shut down just a few days ago and underwent a MRI on his elbow. He was originally reported to have a partial UCL tear in his elbow but just recently learned that it is indeed a full tear. This injury will see Cobb sit out all of the 2015 season and at least half of the 2016 season as he must now start over from square one and work his way back yet again.
He’s only pitched four seasons in the majors but has shown incredible results thus far. He has posted a solid 3.21 ERA across 498.2 innings of work to sport an overall 35-23 record as well as a 7.7 K/9 ratio over the course of his young career with the Rays. With the loss of former Rays ace left-hander David Price, Cobb was expected to be one of the key guys to step up and lead the rotation this year.
The young righty was expected to be part of a strong front three in the Tampa rotation this year as him, fellow right-hander Chris Archer and left-hander Matt Moore were looking to lead a new-look rotation after trading Price last trade deadline in 2014. Moore had undergone Tommy John surgery last season and was not expected back until June or July so it was supposed to be Cobb and Archer leading the way but Cobb opened the season on the DL, leaving it up to Archer to lead the rotation. Now Archer will have to hold down the rotation by himself for a little longer as Moore is still making his way back from Tommy John.
There are some young intriguing pitchers behind Archer such as Drew Smyly, whom was acquired in the Price blockbuster deal last summer with the Detroit Tigers but has been dealing with injuries as well and is still unproven to an extent as he just became a full-time starting pitcher last season. The Tampa rotation is already dealing with injuries so the loss of Cobb just further weakens the rotation. Any more injuries that might occur may lead to yet another trade deadline which would force the Rays to sell of some more assets this season.