Baltimore Orioles: Alex Cobb’s debut with the Orioles was forgettable

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Alex Cobb
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Alex Cobb /

The Baltimore Orioles signed three starting pitchers this offseason. Alex Cobb, who is one of them, made his debut in Boston.

Alex Cobb, one of the Baltimore Orioles newest additions, made his much-anticipated debut in Boston on Saturday. His only game experience this spring has come from simulated games on the back fields at Ed Smith Stadium.

Different balls are used in the minors, with the stitches being higher than balls in the majors. Also, the balls are a bit lighter.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, Minor League Baseball did not allow Cobb to use major league baseballs. Because he wasn’t attached to a rehab assignment, they wouldn’t allow it.  So, Alex Cobb stayed in Sarasota and made a few extended spring training starts.

However, his innings were increased with each start. The team tried to make his extended spring starts feel as authentic as possible. The problem though, he wasn’t facing the defending American League East champions.

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Alex Cobb’s track record at Fenway Park showed that even with the lack of spring starts, he might have faired alright. In seven starts before Saturday, he compiled a 7-and-1 record, with an ERA of 3.15 in 40 innings. But, the Red Sox proved that numbers in the past are just that.

Cobb can’t be judged by one bad outing

Inevitably, when a pitcher has a bad outing, he’s looked down on. It happens more when that outing is after a poor start the night before. But for fans of the Orioles, after witnessing four years of Ubaldo Jimenez, of course, they’re skeptical.

On Saturday, Alex Cobb allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in three-and-two-thirds innings. He served up two home runs, a two-run shot to Hanley Ramirez and a solo shot to J.D. Martinez. The only walk was of Jackie Bradley, Jr, and he didn’t strike anybody out. He started just two games without striking a batter out last season.

Alex Cobb isn’t Ubaldo Jimenez, though.

He’s an established pitcher who posted a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He’s never been considered in a Cy Young conversation, and he’s never led the league in strikeouts. But, Cobb has a career ERA of 3.48. He’s going to be a top of the rotation pitcher for the Orioles for the next four years. I wouldn’t hit the panic button after just three innings in an Orioles uniform.

After the game, he spoke with Gary Thorne, and in regards to not having enough time to prepare for the season, he said,

"“Nobody really cares about the excuse. You’ve got to figure out a way to figure it out and get it done. Come out sharp and start all over for the next start.”"

Next: Chris Tillman's days as a starter are numbered

Alex Cobb is scheduled to start again on Thursday night in Detroit. As of Saturday, the Tigers have gotten off to a cold start, much like the Orioles. With extra work this week, Alex Cobb should be able to rebound against a team he has a career 2.41 ERA against.