Rays' Cobb "very happy" with first live batting practice
Rays righthander Alex Cobb said there were no nerves, or anxiety, as he stepped to the mound Sunday to face hitters for the first time since getting struck in the head with a line drive June 15.
Cobb didn't use a protective screen in the three-inning live batting practice session because he wanted it to be "game-like," and though his command wasn't as crisp as usual, he was really happy with how he felt.
And after taking another significant step forward in his recovery from a mild concussion, Cobb celebrated with a leaping shoulder bump with LHP David Price and RHP Jeremy Hellickson, receiving cheers from the early-arriving Trop crowd.
"It's a relief," Cobb said. "When the incident happens, you think the worst naturally. So being back out there kind of settles your nerves and you realize that you can do it again. So I'm happy."
Cobb threw 47 pitches, facing outfielder Sam Fuld and home equipment clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland. He was a little frustrated with his command in the early going, but acknowledged it may take a little while to be as crisp as when he got hurt.
"Towards the end of that session, I felt a lot better," Cobb said. "More normal than I did before I got hurt."
Cobb said he's pleased with how quickly he's progressing; he'll throw another live batting practice Thursday in Port Charlotte, and believes he'll be "game-ready" in a couple weeks. He's also encouraged how well he's feeling on, and off, the field. And, as Cobb stared in at Fuld for his first pitch, Cobb said there was no "shyness of the ball comign back to me," like the line drive from Royals 1B Eric Hosmer that struck him on the same mound a month ago.
"That was one pitch that happened, and I've thrown a million of other pitches, so I think the subconscious remembers the other good pitches rather than just one bad," Cobb said. "So it's not something that's going to be in my thought process when I'm on the mound, now or in the future. I'm fortunate."