Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Alex Cobb not burdened by expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Alex Cobb makes his eagerly anticipated return to the rotation today with no apprehension about the oblique strain that sidelined him for 5½ weeks or limitations beyond a pitch count in the 90-100 range.

There is the matter of soaring expectations, though he seems to have a pretty good handle on those, too.

"There's definitely no weight to that, pressure-wise for me. I don't know what people's expectations are for a guy — any guy — to go out there that's pitching one out of every five days to have impact-wise on a team," Cobb said Wednesday.

"I'm going to give everything I have that every fifth day. It's a lot more to a rhythm of a team than one guy going every five days. I'm going to do everything I can, and whatever plays off of that is great.

"One thing I can't do is go out there and try to win five games every time. It's going to be one game at a time. All I can do is execute each and every pitch and try to go as deep as I can and win every single game that I can. There's definitely a mind-set of not trying to do too much, for sure."

Manager Joe Maddon appreciated the perspective.

"I'm glad that he said that, because that's exactly right," he said. "I just want him to be Cobber and go out there and pitch his game (today), and that's it."

Cobb was injured during an otherwise impressive April 12 outing in Cincinnati. He made a rehab start Saturday, throwing 64 pitches for Class A Charlotte.

Maddon said how long Cobb will go will be based in part on how much stress he endures in getting there.

FOR EVERY ACTION: The Rays, needing to make room on the 25-man roster for Cobb, optioned OF Kevin Kiermaier back to Triple-A Durham. Kiermaier was called up Saturday when CF Desmond Jennings went on the bereavement list and hit in each of his first three games.

HELLICKSON UPDATE: RHP Jeremy Hellickson takes the next step in his recovery from Jan. 29 elbow surgery by throwing his first live batting practice today.

Hellickson said he has been throwing curveballs in his past few bullpen sessions and had no day-after soreness. "I was talking to David (Price) after like the first two or three bullpens, am I going to have to pitch with the soreness the rest of my life or what?" Hellickson said. "Two bullpens later, there's nothing. So that's very encouraging."

Hellickson said he doesn't have a target date for his return but hopes to be back before the July 14-17 All-Star break.

colome, too: RHP Alex Colome's 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension ends Saturday; he threw in extended spring training Wednesday, and the plan is for him to join Durham on Sunday or shortly thereafter.

MORE PITCHING: Maddon said there were several reasons for starting RHP Chris Archer on Friday and Price on Saturday: Giving Price an extra day after he threw 119 pitches Sunday; not having too much rest for Archer as he pitched May 16; and splitting up Price and Cobb, who tend to work deeper than the other starters.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: Wednesday's game was the 11th, since records were first available in 1914, where a team allowed three or more runs on one hit or less in a loss. … LHP Erik Bedard lost for the second time allowing one hit; also July 20, 2013 for Houston vs. Seattle.

MISCELLANY: At 3:53, it was the 18th Rays game of more than 3½ hours, 35th of three-plus. … The Rays shook up their lineup, Maddon batting RF Wil Myers first (for the second time in his career), 3B Evan Longoria second (for the sixth time) and LF Brandon Guyer fourth (for the first time. Myers got two hits, Longoria and Guyer none. … Retired RHP Dan Wheeler will represent the Rays at the June 5 MLB draft.

Rays' Alex Cobb not burdened by expectations 05/21/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2014 12:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]