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' Cobb sharp in second outing

Alex Cobb pitches three strong innings and strikes out five of his last six hitters in a rebound from a shaky spring debut.


Alex Cobb pitches three strong innings and strikes out five of his last six hitters in a rebound from a shaky spring debut.

PORT CHARLOTTE — Manager Joe Maddon turned to pitching coach Jim Hickey during Saturday's 4-1 Rays win over Baltimore and joked that RHP Alex Cobb looked so good they should leave him on the mound for all nine innings.

They settled for three in a sharp outing for Cobb, who allowed one hit and struck out five of his last six hitters. Making it better was that Cobb, pegged for the No. 4 spot in the rotation, was shaky in his Monday debut and saw the payoff from some adjustments.

"I'm not going to look too much into it, just like I didn't look too much into my last outing, but it does feel good to get the results, even though it's spring training," Cobb said. "There's things to improve on going into my next start, and one of the main things is being consistent the rest of the way."

SIGNING UP: The Rays signed 21 prearbitration players to one-year deals and renewed the contract of RHP Jeremy Hellickson for the second straight year when he declined their $508,000 offer.

"It's really not that big a deal; I just thought it was the right thing to do," Hellickson said. "Now I'll just worry about playing baseball."

The Rays typically have a firm pay scale for prearbitration players, this year from the $490,000 Major League Baseball minimum to $510,000.

Hellickson, 10-11 with a 3.10 ERA last year in the followup to his 2011 American League rookie of the year season, said he thought he should have gotten the top amount, so he turned the offer down on principle. Per team policy for being renewed, the offer is reduced by $5,000. He made $489,000 last year.

"It's not about the money at all. I just felt I deserved the top of the scale," said Hellickson, who is represented by agent Scott Boras. "It was just a little short."

CUTTING DOWN: The first cuts meant the reassigning to minor-league camp of four pitchers brought in to help get the Rays through last weekend's split-squad openers: RHPs Matt Nevarez and Jim Paduch, and LHPs Jimmy Patterson and Neil Schenk. The roster is now at 62.

GAME DETAILS: New SS Yunel Escobar showed power with an opposite-field home run, speed on the bases and his usual smooth glove in the field. "That was the kind of complete game that we think you can expect out of him," Maddon said. … INF Ryan Roberts followed Escobar's homer with one. … INF Sean Rodriguez, starting in centerfield, homered in his second at-bat, ending what had been an 0-for-12 spring start. … Maddon praised relievers Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke and Alex Torres. … INF/OF Ben Zobrist, C Jose Molina and LHPs Cesar Ramos and Torres leave today to join their World Baseball Classic teams.

Rays' Cobb sharp in second outing 03/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 2, 2013 7:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …