Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays unsure if Cobb will return this season

BOSTON — RHP Alex Cobb is feeling "a bit better" since being hit in the head by a line drive Saturday, but manager Joe Maddon said it will be "a long process" for Cobb to get back on the mound, and not necessarily this season.

"He's feeling a little bit better, obviously not tremendously better," Maddon said. "It's one of those things that's just going to take some time. My advice to him was to not try to really rush anything, just permit your body to tell you when you're ready to do the next thing, and I think he's pretty much accepted that thought."

Cobb sustained a concussion and has some ear issues, though Maddon — who spoke to Cobb himself Monday — said he did not have specifics.

"It's getting better, but it's going to be a long process, I think," he said.

Asked if Cobb would return this season, Maddon said, "I don't know that. I don't want to say one way or the other. We haven't even discussed that. I think it's important that he just gets to the next day and see how he feels and just stay together with the medical people. I would never create conjecture on that one way or the other. I really don't know."

Cobb is resting at home.

FOOT FAULT: Evan Longoria returned to third base Tuesday after being limited to DH duty for four games due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Longoria said Tuesday morning he felt better but likely would DH in the second game, but he felt good enough to tell Maddon he could play third in the nightcap as well, though going 0-for-7.

Still there may be times when availability to play the field is determined on a day-by-day basis. "I guess we'll just see how it reacts, see how it goes," Longoria said. "It's something I haven't dealt with before. I'm hoping that it continues to get better and it continues to go away."

Maddon said they would rather be more conservative now. "On a daily basis we'll talk about what he can and cannot do," he said. "If we take care of this now it should not be a problem down the road."

PITCHING IN: The Rays set their rotation for the four-game series in New York. LHP Matt Moore will pitch Thursday and RHP Roberto Hernandez Friday, with RHP Alex Colome expected to be called up Saturday then RHP Chris Archer working Sunday. Colome, impressive in his May 30 major-league debut in Miami, has been on a restricted schedule his past two starts at Triple-A Durham, working on three days' rest and limited to 44 pitches on June 13 and 57 on Monday.

PRICE CHECK: Ace LHP David Price — working his way back from a triceps strain — said via text message his bullpen session in Port Charlotte "went great." Rays were officials were pleased as well and could announce as soon as today when and where he will begin a two- to three-start rehab assignment.

BAD JEREMY: RHP Jeremy Hellickson still doesn't know what went wrong Thursday, when he blanked the Royals for five innings and gave up eight runs in the sixth. But he starts tonight knowing he has to figure out how to stop games from getting away from him like that, a common problem in what he said has been his toughest season in pro ball. "I feel fine," Hellickson said. "I really have nothing for you. I made some really bad pitches that inning."

DO-GOODER: Maddon was excited by the response to Monday's grand opening of the Hazleton One Community Center in his Pennsylvania hometown, a milestone event for the Hazleton Integration Project he started three years ago. "Just a really wonderful day in regards for the city itself to see both sides coming together in a more unifying way now," he said. "You could feel the positive momentum coming our way right now."

MISCELLANY: LHP Alex Torres extended his scoreless streak to 181/3 innings. … Five fans drove overnight from Brandon to see Wil Myers' debut. … Class A Bowling Green had a league-most nine in Tuesday's Midwest League All-Star Game: Ps Jeff Ames, Dylan Florio, Taylor Guerrieri, Reinaldo Lopez; INFs Tommy Coyle, Tyler Goeddel, Leonardo Reginatto; C Luke Maile; OF Andrew Toles.

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