Rays' Alex Cobb expected to be out into May

Rays top starter Alex Cobb is now expected to be sidelined at least into May with forearm tendinitis. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
Rays top starter Alex Cobb is now expected to be sidelined at least into May with forearm tendinitis. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
Published Apr. 4, 2015

LAKELAND — Alex Cobb is now expected to be sidelined at least into May with forearm tendinitis.

The Rays' top starter had been hoping for a quick return, eyeing the third week of April. But a lack of progress while playing catch — more so than an actual setback — dashed that plan, as Cobb might not get back on the mound until next week at the soonest.

And the longer it takes him to get back on the mound, the more time he will need to build back up to game readiness, having left his March 17 start after three innings.

Given the time needed for the usual progression with arm injuries, from catch to bullpen sessions to live batting practice to rehab games, Cobb seems a month or more from returning at action.

Erasmo arrives: RHP Erasmo Ramirez figured, being out of options, his time with the Mariners was up.

Getting traded to the Rays, and getting a chance to join their injury-plagued rotation, worked out pretty well.

"It's a new opportunity," Ramirez said after working out Friday morning at the Trop with his new teammates. "It's nothing about this team doesn't want me or anything. It's just about a new place, a new team, new teammates. And a new chance to show what I can do. I'm glad the Rays are giving me a chance."

Ramirez, 24, has pitched parts of the past three seasons in the majors, though he struggled last season, posting a 1-6, 5.26 ERA in 17 games (14 starts).

He said there wasn't a specific issue last season, though he noted he was behind in the count too often (34 walks in 75 innings): "One of the things I have in my mind that I want to do is to just be myself, throw strikes and get the ball down. Maybe this year we can make it happen."

Ramirez, who will wear No. 30, is scheduled for at least an inning in today's Trop exhibition finale, and he is a candidate to start Game 4 in Miami.

On Odorizzi: Aside from one pitch — a hanging changeup Miguel Cabrera blasted for a two-run homer — RHP Jake Odorizzi was pleased with his final start of the spring: four innings, five hits, three earned runs.

"I think (Friday) was my best day of the spring," he said. "Stuff-wise, everything felt great coming out."

After working on his cutter this spring, Odorizzi used it to force a double play and said it's ready to go for his season debut Wednesday.

Medical matters: RHP Alex Colome (pneumonia) said his first session facing hitters went well. He threw 30 pitches, using his full repertoire and breaking one of Curt Casali's bat early in the session. Colome will throw another live BP then advance to a rehab start. … LHPs Jake McGee (arthroscopic elbow surgery) and Matt Moore (Tommy John elbow surgery) threw bullpen sessions at the Trop. … 3B Evan Longoria was back in the lineup, as expected, after being scratched Thursday because of illness.

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Game details: CF Brandon Guyer hit a first-inning grand slam for his first home run of the year in an 11-5 win over the Tigers. … DH Kevin Kiermaier was 2-for-3 with his second triple in as many days. … RHPs Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger and LHP Jeff Beliveau all had perfect relief outings.

Contact Matt Baker at Follow @MBakerTBTimes.