Alex Cobb continues to make progress as he works his way back onto the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander took a line drive off the side of his head during a start in mid-June, a horrific site that left him with a severe concussion, lingering vertigo-like effects from damage done to his right ear, and resulted in him being taken off the field on a stretcher. He’s been working out at the team’s Spring Training facilities in recent weeks after gaining clearance from team physicians, mostly limited to long toss and the occasional bullpen session. He threw a simulated game on Thursday, tossing 59 pitches, which went well enough that the team is pushing him along to the next step in his rehab process.
Cobb is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Tuesday, pitching for the Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs. He’ll reportedly be limited to four innings or 60 pitches. If things go well he’ll be bumped to five innings or 75 pitches in his second outing five days later.
The 25 year old Boston, MA native has made 13 starts on the year for the Rays, going 6-2 in 83.2 IP. His 3.01 ERA, 1.159 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, and 2.5 BB/9 are all career bests. Upon suffering the injury it was unclear if he’d return before season’s end but he appears on track in his rehab, suggesting that he could make his way back into the Rays rotation before long. The team will be smart not to rush him, but there has to be optimism in Tampa Bay about his progress.